SNC-Lavalin to pay $1.9 million in fourth Québec bid-rigging settlement

News release

Fourth settlement brings total payments by colluding firms to more than $8.5 million

June 19, 2020 - GATINEAU, QC - Competition Bureau

Engineering firm SNC-Lavalin has been ordered to pay $1.9 million for rigging bids on municipal infrastructure contracts in the province of Québec as part of a settlement with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.

The settlement, filed today with the Superior Court of Québec, ends the Competition Bureau's investigation of the company's role in a scheme in which several engineering firms conspired to rig bids for municipal contracts.

SNC-Lavalin participated in the scheme between 2003 and 2012, rigging bids on public infrastructure contracts in Montréal and in the Québec City area, the period varying for each municipality.

The settlement takes into account that SNC-Lavalin previously reimbursed the overpayments related to the bid-rigging through the Government of Québec’s Voluntary Reimbursement Program, and that the individuals involved in the scheme no longer work for the firm.

As part of the settlement, the Court has also ordered SNC-Lavalin to maintain its corporate compliance program, which is designed to prevent further anticompetitive activity by its employees.

This is the fourth settlement with an engineering firm resulting from the Competition Bureau’s ongoing investigation. Dessau, WSP Canada (formerly Genivar), and Norda Stelo (formerly Roche) were previously ordered to pay $1.9 million, $4 million and $750,000 respectively for their roles in the bid-rigging scheme.

The investigation has also resulted in guilty pleas by four former executives of engineering firms Cima+, Genivar and Dessau for bid-rigging on City of Gatineau infrastructure contracts. They received conditional prison sentences totalling five years and 11 months, and court-ordered community service totalling 260 hours.

The $1.9 million payment by SNC-Lavalin will be made to the Receiver General for Canada.

Quotes

“Rigging bids on infrastructure contracts raises costs for municipalities and amounts to a theft of taxpayers’ money. Our investigation is ongoing, and we will continue to pursue all those who plot to increase their profits through criminal bid-rigging schemes.”

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

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