CIMA+ to pay $3.2 million in latest Québec bid-rigging settlement

News release

Competition Bureau investigation has led to more than $12M in payments by six colluding firms

December 8, 2020 - GATINEAU, QC - Competition Bureau

Engineering firm CIMA+ has been ordered to pay $3.2 million over the next four years for bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in the province of Québec.

The payment is part of a settlement filed today with the Superior Court of Québec between the Public Prosecution Service of Canada and CIMA+. The settlement ends the Competition Bureau’s investigation of the company’s role in a bid-rigging scheme that targeted municipal contracts in Québec City, Montreal, Laval, St-Eustache and Gatineau between 2003 and 2011.

The settlement takes into account the fact that CIMA+ previously reimbursed overpayments related to the bid-rigging through the Government of Quebec’s Voluntary Reimbursement Program. The Court also ordered the company to maintain its corporate compliance program, which is designed to prevent further anticompetitive activity by its employees.

This is the sixth settlement resulting from the Bureau’s ongoing investigation. CIMA+ and five other engineering firms have been ordered to pay a total of $12,050,000 for their respective roles in the bid-rigging scheme. The five other firms include:

The $3.2 million payment by CIMA+ will be made to the Receiver General of Canada.

Quotes

“There is a price to be paid by those who defraud taxpayers by rigging bids on municipal contracts. This latest settlement is a reminder that we will continue to pursue all those involved in such criminal schemes.”

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • The Bureau’s 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.

  • Bid-rigging raises the cost of products or services. Bid-rigging on municipal contracts amounts to a theft of taxpayers’ money that could otherwise be spent on important public needs.

  • If you suspect that you are a victim of big-rigging or have information about a bid-rigging scheme, please contact the Competition Bureau.

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