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François Tougas is a leading expert in the transportation, forest products and mining industries. He advises shippers and other stakeholders in connection with their commercial dealings and disputes with railways, and advises on competition / antitrust matters in the transportation, forestry and mining sectors.

Recognized by domestic and international directories as one of the leading transportation and competition lawyers in Canada, François has been repeatedly listed in Chambers Canada, Who’s Who Legal, the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory and Best Lawyers. He is ranked Band 1 in Chambers Canada (2021) in the Transportation, Rail and Road category.

Admired for his work in competition matters in the railway industry, François has been instrumental in seeking statutory reform in the rail transportation sector. François teaches competition law at Allard Hall School of Law at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and has lectured in transportation regulatory economics in the MBA program at UBC’s Sauder School of Business. He writes and speaks extensively on a variety of related legal matters. François leads the firm’s Transportation Group nationally.



Representative Matters

Competition Matters (Publicly disclosed matters only)

  • Aurizon Mines (precious metals) in hostile takeover bid by Northgate Minerals (approx. $400 million)
  • Aurora Cannabis in acquisition of MedReleaf ($3.2 billion)
  • Aurora Cannabis in acquisition of CanniMed ($1.2 billion)
  • Aurora Cannabis in acquisition of Alcanna/Liquor Stores ($103 million)
  • Ballard Power Systems (fuel cells) in strategic alliance with Daimler Benz AG (approx. $600 million)
  • Ballard Power Systems (fuel cells) in formation of strategic alliance with DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Company ($861 million)
  • Ballard Power Systems (fuel cells) in acquisition of XCELLSIS Gmbh and Ecostar Electric Drive Systems from DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Company
  • Burcon International in acquisition of certain assets of Concord Pacific (former Expo lands)
  • Canfor Corporation, Slocan Forest Products, Weldwood of Canada and West Fraser Timber in dealings with the Competition Bureau in sale of operations of British Columbia Railway to Canadian National Railway Company ($1.02 billion)
  • Crestbrook Forest Industries, MC Forest Investment and Kanzaki Paper in disposition of respective interests in Alberta Pacific pulp mill (amount not disclosed)
  • Crown Packaging (paper packaging) in sale of Canadian divisions to Norampac, Paperboard Industries and Allpak Holdings ($174 million)
  • FreshPoint in merger of food service business (Pacific Produce) with Sysco Corporation (amount not disclosed)
  • Glamis Gold in hostile take-over bid for Goldcorp ($4.3 billion)
  • Glamis Gold in the acquisition of Western Silver ($1.2 billion)
  • Glamis Gold in plan of arrangement with Goldcorp (US$21.3 billion combination)
  • Great Canadian Gaming and Brookfield Business Partners in acquisition of Ontario Lottery & Gaming GTA Bundle ($170 million)
  • Great Canadian Gaming and Clairvest Equity Partners in acquisition of Ontario Lottery & Gaming West GTA Bundle ($134 million)
  • Great Canadian Gaming in acquisition of Ontario Lottery & Gaming East Bundle ($51.3 million)
  • Great Canadian Gaming in acquisition of Flamboro Downs from Magna Entertainment (C$50 million, plus US$23.6 million, plus debt)
  • Great Canadian Gaming in acquisition of Casino Nova Scotia from Caesars Entertainment (US$70 million)
  • IGI Resources (natural gas distribution) in sale to Amoco Energy (amount not disclosed)
  • Leavitt Machinery in acquisition of Interior Lift Truck from Finning ($63 million)
  • Paper Excellence in respect of competition and insolvency matters in its acquisition of Catalyst Paper Corporation (March 2019)
  • Paper Excellence (pulp mills) in acquisition of Catalyst Paper Corporation (amount undisclosed)
  • Primary Metals Inc. (tungsten) in sale to Sojitz Corporation of Japan (C$49 million)
  • Revelstoke Home Centres (retail home improvement) in acquisition of Lumberland Building Materials (amount not disclosed)
  • Revy Home Centres (retail home improvement) in acquisition of Lansing Buildall (amount not disclosed)
  • Revy Home Centres (retail home improvement) in sale of certain assets to RONA Inc. ($221 million)
  • Sierra Systems Group Inc. (information technology) sale to Golden Gate Capital ($93 million)
  • Teck Cominco (diversified mining) in unsolicited takeover bid for Inco Limited (nickel) (C$16.8 billion)
  • Teck Cominco (diversified mining) in acquisition of Aur Resources Inc. (precious metals) (C$4.1 billion)
  • VersaCold Corporation (public refrigerated warehousing) in acquisition of QF Distribution (amount not disclosed)
  • VersaCold Corporation (public refrigerated warehousing) in acquisition of Trans-Canada Freezers ($110 million)
  • Waterous Energy Fund (oil & gas) in acquisition of Northern Blizzard Resources Inc. ($244 million)
  • West Fraser Mills (integrated forest products) in acquisition of Chasm Division of Ainsworth Lumber ($22 million)
  • West Fraser Mills (integrated forest products) in acquisition of interest of Daishowa Paper interest in Quesnel River Pulp Company (amount undisclosed)
  • West Fraser Mills (integrated forest products) in acquisition of certain assets of Zeidler Forest Products (Alberta Plywood)
  • West Fraser Mills (integrated forest products) in sale of Babine and Decker Lake sawmills to Hampton Lumber (amount undisclosed)
  • West Fraser Mills (integrated forest products) in the acquisition of timber tenures from Weyerhaeuser Company Limited (amount undisclosed)
  • West Fraser Timber in connection with swap of timber tenures with Canfor Corporation (amount undisclosed)
  • West Fraser Timber (integrated forest products) in acquisition of Weldwood of Canada from International Paper Company (integrated forest products) ($1.26 billion)
  • West Fraser Timber (integrated forest products) in acquisition of the forest products division of Alberta Energy (amount undisclosed)
  • West Fraser Timber (integrated forest products) in acquisition of Eagle Hardware (retail home improvement)
  • West Fraser Timber (integrated forest products) in acquisition of interest of Enso-Gutzeit Oy in Eurocan Pulp and Paper (amount undisclosed)

Transportation Matters (publicly disclosed)

  • Canfor Corporation, Slocan Forest Products, Weldwood of Canada and West Fraser Timber (sale of the operations of British Columbia Railway to Canadian National Railway Company, 2003-2004)
  • Canadian National Railway Company and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company v. Normerica Inc. (Federal Court, demurrage claims and service counterclaims, 2006)
  • Canadian National Railway Company v. Western Canadian Coal Corp. (Final offer arbitration and application for judicial review, contesting operability of final offer arbitration provisions of Canada Transportation Act, 2004-2005)
  • Canadian Pacific Railway Company v. Teck Coal Limited (defence of CP’s application for leave to appeal decision of Canadian Transportation Agency to refer matter to final offer arbitration; application denied, 2009)
  • Canpotex Limited and related entities in rail transportation services with Canadian National Railway Company
  • Canpotex Limited and related entities in rail transportation services with Canadian Pacific Railway Company
  • Canpotex Limited and related entities in rail transportation services with Union Pacific Railroad
  • Elk Valley Coal Partnership et al. v. Canadian Pacific Railway Company (final offer arbitration and related proceedings, 2004)
  • Elk Valley Coal Corporation (before the Competition Policy Review Panel, 2008)
  • Fortress Investment Group (NYSE:FIG) in connection with the formation of Central Maine & Québec Railway and purchase of the assets of bankrupt Montreal, Maine & Atlantic railway, following derailment at Lac-Mégantic, Québec (July 6, 2013)
  • Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure Investors LLC (NYSE:FTAI) in connection with the sale of Central Maine & Québec Railway to Canadian Pacific Railway Company (November 21, 2019; terms not disclosed)
  • Teck Coal Limited (NYSE: TECK; TSX: TECK.B) in connection with a five year rail agreement for shipping of steelmaking coal from Teck’s four B.C. operations from Kamloops to Neptune Terminals and other west coast ports (December 4, 2019; terms not disclosed)
  • Mining Association of Canada, before the Standing Committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities in connection with Bill C-52 (Service Level Agreements) (2013)
  • Normerica Inc. v. Canadian National Railway Company and The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (Canadian Transportation Agency, level of service complaint, 2006)
  • Seaspan International v. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (Canadian Transportation Agency, abandonment opposition, 2005)
  • Teck Corporation, Weldwood of Canada, West Fraser Timber (before the Canada Transportation Act Review Panel, Transport Canada, 2000)
  • Teck Coal Limited v Canadian Pacific Railway Company, final offer arbitration (May and June 2009)
  • Teck Resources Limited, before the Canadian Transportation Agency in connection with its Consultation on Amendments to the Uniform Classification of Accounts (2013) and its Cost of Capital Review (2010)
  • Teck Resources Limited, before the Federal Rail Freight Service Review, Transport Canada (2008-2013)
  • Teck Resources Limited, supported by the Western Grain Elevator Association and the Canadian Canola Growers Association, before the Canadian Transportation Agency in connection with its Consultation on Capital Structure and Cost of Capital Methodology (2016)
  • Teck Resources Limited, supported by the Western Grain Elevator Association, the Canadian Canola Growers Association and the Western Canadian Shippers Coalition, before the Canadian Transportation Agency in connection with its Consultation on the Agency Regulatory Costing Model (2017)
  • Teck Resources Limited, supported by the Western Grain Elevator Association, the Canadian Canola Growers Association, the Mining Association of Canada and the Western Canadian Shippers Coalition before the Canadian Transportation Agency in connection with its Consultation on the Regulatory Modernization Initiative (2018)
  • Teck Resources Limited, 10-year handling agreement with Ridley Terminals Inc. (2011)
  • Teck Resources Limited, agreement with Westshore Terminals Limited (2010) and extension (2012)
  • Teck Resources Limited, ten year agreement with Canadian Pacific Railway Company (2010)
  • TransLink (Greater Vancouver Transportation Authority) re application in support of City of Port Coquitlam’s Coast Mountain Overpass over Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s Coquitlam Yard (2006)
  • Weldwood of Canada, West Fraser Timber and Weyerhaeuser (legislative reviews of the Canada Transportation Act, 1999)
  • West Coast Express re negotiations with Canadian Pacific Railway Company (2005)Canfor Corporation, Slocan Forest Products, Weldwood of Canada and West Fraser Timber (sale of the operations of British Columbia Railway to Canadian National Railway Company)
  • Numerous submissions to federal legislative review panels and parliamentary committees in connection with the Canada Transportation Act
  • (Not Publicly Disclosed) Numerous negotiations and final offer arbitrations on behalf of bulk shippers (forest, mining, mineral and agricultural products) and passenger/commuter rail operations with Canadian National Railway, Canadian Pacific Railway, The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and Union Pacific Railroad; numerous negotiations with export, domestic and international cargo terminals

Speaking Engagements

Competition Policy Roundtable with the Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell, Vancouver, Host

January 26, 2021

Data Solutions for Enhancing Transportation Performance Railway Line Capacity Metrics CTRF 2020 Annual Conference

June 5, 2020

Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications Senate of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario

February 18, 2018

Teaching Engagements

  • Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia, Faculty of Law, “Competition Law & Policy” (2006 – 2016) and “Topics in International Law: International Business Transactions” (1994/98)

News


Media Mentions


Rankings & Recognition

  • Recognized by the Best Lawyers in Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the area of Competition / Antitrust Law
  • Recognized by Chambers Canada (2021) as a leading lawyer in the area of Transportation: Rail & Road
  • Recognized in the 2020 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas of Competition Law and Transportation (Rail & Road)
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2020 as a leader in Competition Competition Law and Transportation (Rail & Road)
  • Listed in the Legal500 Canada 2020 as a “Leading Lawyer” – Transport
  • Recognized by Chambers Canada (2020) as a leading lawyer in the area of Transportation: Rail and Road
  • Leader in Competition/Antitrust Law in Best Lawyers in Canada 2011 to 2020
  • Listed in Who’s Who Legal: Canada 2019 as a leader in Competition
  • Recognized in the 2019 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas Competition Law and Transportation (Road & Rail)
  • Leader in Competition Law in Who’s Who Legal Canada: 2019
  • Recognized in the 2018 Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a Repeatedly Recommended lawyer in the areas Competition Law and Transportation (Road & Rail)
  • Leader in Transportation – Canada in Chambers Canada 2016 to 2019
  • Leader in Transportation Law: Rail & Road in Chambers Global 2014 to 2017
  • Leader in Competition Law, The Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory 2011 to 2017
  • Leader in Transportation (Road & Rail) Law, The Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory 2011 to 2017
  • “AV Preeminent” Peer Review Ranking, Martindale-Hubbell 1996 to 2019

Directorships & Affiliations

  • Arbitrator, appointed to the roster of the Canadian Transportation Agency
  • Canadian Bar Association (Competition Law Section)
  • American Bar Association (Antitrust Section)
  • Canadian Transportation Research Forum
  • Canadian Association of Law Teachers

Education & Admissions

1989
Called to the British Columbia bar
1988
LLB University of British Columbia
1985
International Relations (Department of Political Science)Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
1983
Utah Technical College, Orem, Utah, (now Utah Valley University)

Publications

  • Railway Line Capacity Metrics,” Planning in Times of Unprecedented Change and Uncertainty, Proceedings of the 55th Annual Conference of the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (June 2020)

Insights by François Tougas (22 Posts)

Competition Bureau Invites Comments to Revisions to the Competitor Collaboration Guidelines

Aug 5, 2020

The Competition Bureau recently released a draft revision of the Competition Collaboration Guidelines and is
inviting comments in a public consultation.

CN Rail Acquires H&R Transport – Competition Analysis

May 1, 2020

The Competition Bureau's review of the CN/H&R highlights its attention to non-notifiable deals, its use of oral examinations and the efficiencies defence.

Transport Canada Relaxes Mandatory Off-Duty Time for Truck Drivers Transporting Essential Cargo

Mar 30, 2020

March 24 2020 after consultation with the provinces an exemption was issued permitting trucking companies and drivers to exceed maximum on-duty and driving time

Don’t Count Your Efficiencies Before They Hatch: Exploring The Factors That Impact A Railway’s Operating Ratio

Jul 22, 2019

Canadian Pacific Railway (“CP”) has significantly reduced its operating ratio in the past few years.

Regulations Implementing theTransportation Modernization Act

Apr 11, 2019

On April 1, 2019, the Canadian Transportation Agency (“Agency”) announced the publication of proposed regulations (the “Proposed Regulations”) in the Canada Gazette to implement certain aspects of the Transportation Modernization Act (Bill C-49) (“TMA”).

Investment Canada Act Threshold Increases to $1 Billion (Cdn)

Jun 22, 2017

Investment Canada Act Threshold Increases to $1 Billion (Cdn)

Bill C-49: Some Welcome Improvements to Rail Service Level Arbitration

Jun 13, 2017

Bill C-49: Some Welcome Improvements to Rail Service Level Arbitration

Bill C-49: Is the Line Haul Interswitching Remedy Really New?

May 30, 2017

Regulators Rethink "Best Interest" Standard for Registrants

Bill C-49: Government of Canada Proposes to Amend the Canada Transportation Act

May 16, 2017

Bill C-49: Government of Canada Proposes to Amend the Canada Transportation Act

Investment Canada Act Threshold Increase – $1 Billion (Cdn)

Apr 12, 2017

Investment Canada Act Threshold Increase - $1 Billion (Cdn)

Canadian Transportation Agency Closes Submissions on Regulatory Costing Model Consultation

Mar 16, 2017

Canadian Transportation Agency Closes Submissions on Regulatory Costing Model Consultation

Canadian Transportation Agency Closes Railway Capital Structure Consultation

Jan 3, 2017

Canadian Transportation Agency Closes Railway Capital Structure Consultation

Government of Canada Provides Valuable Guidance on National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Canada

Jan 3, 2017

Government of Canada Provides Valuable Guidance on National Security Review of Foreign Investment in Canada

Competition Bureau Issues Consent Agreement Template

Sep 29, 2016

Competition Bureau Issues Consent Agreement Template

The Govt of Canada Extends the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act

Aug 23, 2016

The Govt of Canada Extends the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act

Will the Government of Canada Extend the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act?

Apr 29, 2016

Will the Government of Canada Extend the Fair Rail for Grain Farmers Act?

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review – Part II (Rail Freight Traffic)

Apr 6, 2016

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review – Part II (Rail Freight Traffic)

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

Mar 16, 2016

Final Report: Canada Transportation Act Review

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Feb 28, 2015

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Feb 28, 2015

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Feb 28, 2015

Update: Government of Canada Proposes to Change Federal Railway Liability Regime

Tervita Corp v Canada – The Supreme Court of Canada’s First Merger Decision in 17 Years: An Efficient Outcome

Jan 31, 2015

Tervita Corp v Canada – The Supreme Court of Canada's First Merger Decision in 17 Years: An Efficient Outcome