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June 20 2024

Bill C-59 tax incentives overshadowed by punitive Competition Act amendments

Calgary, Alberta, June 20, 2024 – In anticipation of the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, Bill C-59, receiving Royal Assent later today, the Calgary Chamber is concerned by the sweeping changes that will impact businesses of all sizes and sectors. The changes to the so-called deceptive marketing rules in the Competition Act are extremely concerning and run at cross-purposes to the climate ambitions and leadership demonstrated by industries across sectors. They will also limit disclosure of climate targets and ambitions to investors and financial markets, putting Canadian companies at a distinct disadvantage relative to companies operating in other jurisdictions.

“The Investment Tax Credits and other long-overdue measures included in Bill C-59 are unfortunately obfuscated by other aspects of the Bill – including the so-called ‘greenwashing’ amendments introduced last-minute and without consultation – casting a shroud over what could have been a good news story,” says Deborah Yedlin, President & CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. “Changes to Canada’s Competition Act will be far-reaching and risk the environmental progress industries writ-large have been working towards.”

Competition Act

Proposed amendments to subsection 74.01(1)(b.2) of the Competition Act, which governs organizations’ claims on their environmental benefits and ambitions will require all organizations to verify their claims about the environmental benefit of their goods or services using an internationally recognized methodology that is not yet defined – raising alarm for businesses across sizes and sectors.

“These changes will impede organizations’ decarbonization and environmental stewardship plans and are already limiting Canadian companies’ ability to share their aspirations and plans to address climate change and mitigate ecological impacts – from energy and agriculture, to infrastructure, manufacturing and retail,” says Deborah Yedlin. “While accurate and verifiable environmental reporting is required, it must be done without jeopardizing Canada’s climate ambitions and under clearly defined standards.”

Given this, and per our recent statement, the Calgary Chamber strongly urges the federal government to:

Investment Tax Credits

ITCs are essential to emissions reductions by alleviating a portion of the financial risk and capital costs businesses assume when decarbonizing existing assets or investing in emerging clean technologies. However, barriers remain. With the value of the credits declining or being phased out over time, support may ratchet down before projects can be developed – especially given the significant delay in finalizing the ITCs and lengthy regulatory processes and timelines. Further, with the changes to the Competition Act, companies may not be able to access the ITCs, as they must disclose their decarbonization initiatives to access funding.

The Chamber continues to raise concerns that, as non-taxable entities, Indigenous communities are unable to access ITCs, creating a fundamental disadvantage for projects that are Indigenous-led or partnered. We urge the federal government to create a direct pay option to facilitate equal opportunity to investment opportunities.

For the ITCs to meaningfully support decarbonization we recommend:

We will continue to work with the federal government to share the concerns of our business community and gain greater insights and clarity into the decisions outlined in Bill C-59. We encourage continued consultation to mitigate unintended consequences on the business community and economy more broadly. In the meantime, we urge the federal government to immediately suspend the amendments to the Competition Act outlined in Bill C-59, as it detracts from the ability of Canadian companies to be vocal and transparent about their efforts to decrease emissions and environmental impact.


The Calgary Chamber of Commerce exists to help businesses reach their potential. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1891, we build on our history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors across the city.

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