News Release Article from  Competition Bureau

Bid-rigging scheme leads to $140,000 fines for Quebec company and its President

Second guilty plea in residential construction bid‑rigging scheme in Montreal

March 14, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

Les Entreprises de ventilation Climasol Inc. and its President, Roch Raby, pleaded guilty today in the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal. They were fined $130,000 and $10,000 respectively for their role in an agreement to rig bids for a private sector ventilation contract in the Faubourg St‑Laurent Phase II project.

Mr. Raby admitted that he had secretly participated in the coordination of his bid with competitors to pre‑determine the winner of the contract.

To date, one other company, Les Entreprises Promécanic Ltée, pleaded guilty for its participation in this bid‑rigging scheme. The companies and individual were fined a total of $565,000.

Bid‑rigging is a serious criminal offence that harms all Canadians by reducing competition. Consumers and businesses have a right to expect a competitive marketplace that encourages continuing innovation, low prices, high quality services and products, and greater efficiency.

Quick Facts

  • On December 21, 2010, criminal charges were laid against eight companies and five individuals accused of rigging bids for private sector ventilation contracts in the Montreal area.
  • On July 19, 2011, Les Entreprises Promécanic Ltée pleaded guilty to three charges of bid‑rigging and was fined $425,000.
  • The Competition Bureau began investigating this matter following a tip from a former employee of one of the companies charged.
  • Bid‑rigging conspiracies are, by their nature, difficult to detect and to prove. Over the course of the investigation, Bureau officers searched many sites, seized thousands of documents and interviewed numerous witnesses.

Quote

"Bid‑rigging leads to higher prices, harms businesses by reducing their ability to compete and harms the economy by creating a less competitive environment and stifling innovation. This kind of behaviour is toxic to the Canadian economy. That is why the Bureau is cracking down on these anti‑competitive agreements."

Matthew Boswell
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.


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