Seventh guilty plea concludes the Competition Bureau's Quebec sewer services cartel case

News Release

November 29, 2017 – OTTAWA, Ontario – Competition Bureau

Kelly Sani-Vac Inc. pleaded guilty today to participating in a bid-rigging scheme to obtain municipal contracts for specialized sewer services in Quebec and was fined $85,000 by the Quebec Superior Court in Montreal. The charges against owner Daniel Kelly were stayed.

The charges against Kelly Sani-Vac are related to calls for tenders for municipal contracts in Ville Mont-Royal between 2010 and 2011.

This seventh guilty plea concludes a Competition Bureau investigation that led to charges in 2011 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 charges against Kelly Sani-Vac Inc. and two individuals were laid in 2012 as result of new evidence.

In total, six companies and one individual have pleaded guilty for their participation in this bid-rigging scheme.

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.


Quotes

“I am satisfied that all of the companies involved in this bid-rigging scheme have been brought to justice. Cracking down on cartels continues to be a top priority for the Bureau, especially given the government’s announcement of more than $180 billion in infrastructure investments over the next 12 years. Bid-rigging on public contracts is a fraud on Canadian tax payers that leads to higher prices, lower project quality and less innovation.”

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

Quick Facts

  • As a result of the investigation, the companies (Kelly Sani-Vac Inc., Canalisation Nord Américaine Ltée, Groupe Esthétix, Colmatec Inc., Chalifoux Sani Laurentides Inc. and MSC Réhabilitation Inc.) were collectively fined a total of $353,000 and the individual (Rénald Drouin, operations director at Colmatec Inc.) was ordered to do 100 hours of community service.

  • The tendering authorities were unaware of the bid-rigging scheme; they are its victims.

  • The Bureau learned of the bid-rigging when a participant in the scheme applied to the Bureau’s Immunity Program.  Another participant co-operated with the investigation by way of the Bureau’s Leniency Program.

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