Canada has a long history of pursuing and prosecuting cartels (more commonly referred to in Canadian competition law as "conspiracies"). The first criminal anti-cartel prohibition was enacted in Canada in 1889, one year prior to passage of the Sherman Act in the United States. Since that time, there have been numerous cartel prosecutions in Canada involving a myriad of industries. Canada also has an active and sophisticated immunity (amnesty)/leniency program, and is considered to be among the first jurisdictions that participants in global cartels should contact when approaching the authorities.
And yet, notwithstanding its established pedigree of cartel prosecution, there is one area of anti-cartel enforcement in which Canada is seen as lagging behind, especially in comparison to the United States – penalties and sanctions.