Two individuals charged with conspiracy to rig bids for public road work on Highway 50 in Outaouais
October 24, 2023, GATINEAU (Québec), Competition Bureau
Criminal charges were laid before the Court of Québec yesterday against Richard Dionne and Richard Labelle, who are accused of conspiring in 2021 to rig bids on public road and culvert work on Highway 50 (since renamed Guy‑Lafleur) in the region of Gatineau in Québec.
Evidence gathered in the course of a Competition Bureau investigation suggests that the individuals conspired to undermine the competitive process by agreeing to rig bids submitted in response to a call for tenders from the ministère des Transports du Québec.
The charges were laid under the bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act and the conspiracy provisions of the Criminal Code. At the time of the alleged conspiracy, Richard Dionne was General Manager of Sales for Québec and Ontario for the Coco Asphalt division of Coco Paving Inc., and Richard Labelle was the Sales Manager for Québec for Coco Asphalt.
“Criminal conspiracies harm competition and can cause major damage to our economy. When individuals conspire to rig bids for public contracts, it is taxpayers who pay the price. We will continue to vigorously pursue all those who engage in anti-competitive activities.”
Commissioner of Competition
When the Competition Bureau finds evidence of a criminal offence, it refers the matter to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC). The PPSC then decides whether charges should be laid and has authority over any resulting prosecution.
Individuals convicted of bid-rigging are liable to up to 14 years in prison and/or a fine. The amount of the fines is always at the discretion of the courts.
The Bureau has a whistleblower initiative for those who believe they can provide information about a potential violation of the Competition Act. The Bureau will keep the identity of the whistleblower confidential.
If you believe that you have been a victim of bid-rigging, or if you have information about a bid-rigging scheme, contact the Competition Bureau.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
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