Quebec company fined $118,000 for participating in sewer services cartel
February 8, 2016 — OTTAWA, Ontario — Competition Bureau
Chalifoux Sani Laurentides Inc. has pleaded guilty in the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal and has been fined $118,000 for its participation in a bid‑rigging scheme to obtain municipal contracts for specialized sewer services in Quebec. The charges against owner Michel Chalifoux were stayed.
To date, five companies and one individual have pleaded guilty for their participation in this bid‑rigging scheme. The companies were fined a total of $268,000 and the individual was ordered to do 100 hours of community service.
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.
- On November 22, 2011, as part of an investigation by the Competition Bureau, criminal charges were laid against six companies and five individuals for rigging bids for 37 calls for tenders for municipal and provincial sewer services in 2008 and 2009, with a total value of over $3 million.
- Additional criminal charges were laid against one of the companies and two of the individuals in December 2012.
- The municipalities were unaware of the bid‑rigging scheme; they are its victims.
- The Bureau learned of this bid‑rigging scheme by way of its Immunity Program. Another competitor co‑operated with the investigation by way of the Bureau’s Leniency Program.
"Businesses must ensure they comply with the law and steer clear of anti‑competitive activities. The Competition Bureau encourages businesses to recognize that compliance is a good investment of their time and money and that it helps, among other things, to maintain a good reputation."
Commissioner of Competition
- November 22, 2011 — Competition Bureau Exposes Sewer Services Cartel in Quebec
- June 22, 2012 — Guilty Pleas in Quebec Sewer Services Cartel
- August 24, 2012 — Guilty Plea in Quebec Sewer Services Cartel
- December 20, 2012 — Additional Charges Laid in Quebec Sewer Services Cartel
- December 17, 2015 — Guilty plea in the Quebec sewer services cartel
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