Governments in Canada are collectively the most significant participants in the country’s commercial activity. Governments are by far the largest purchasers of goods and services in the country, with procurements measured in many billions of dollars annually. They also act as guarantors and lenders. Their commercial activities extend to every corner of the country and can involve foreign countries as well.
This dual role of governments - both regulating commercial activity through their legislative and taxing powers and at the same time engaging in commercial activity - puts governments into a unique position. In many respects, the rights and obligations of governments are no different than those that govern private sector business. But there are also significant differences. The rules which apply to governments have evolved to recognize their unique position, and those rules are in constant development today.
The Government Procurement and Litigation Group uses its procurement expertise to conduct procurement compliance reviews for procurement issuers and provides advice to assist companies in bidding on, negotiating and performing government contracts.
The days when government was immune to suit are gone. Much of the most substantial litigation in Canada now involves government, with claims ranging from commercial disputes to compensation for personal injury. Other types of litigation result from the unique nature of government. Governments have wide powers of action, which the Courts supervise to ensure they act properly and within their mandate. The expectations upon government are very high. Individual and class action litigation are now key components of economic and political change in Canada, and are both becoming more frequent and involve very large amounts of money. Claims such as these require a thorough understanding of the unique law which applies in this area and a familiarity with how governments actually work.