Two individuals charged with conspiracy to rig bids for Québec City infrastructure contracts

News release

November 14, 2023, GATINEAU (Québec), Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau has laid criminal charges before the Court of Québec against Patrice Mathieu and André Côté in connection with an alleged conspiracy to rig bids for Québec City infrastructure contracts. 

Evidence gathered by the Bureau suggests that the accused participated in a big-rigging scheme between September 1, 2006, and November 19, 2010, in which several individuals employed by consulting engineering firms conspired to divide municipal infrastructure contracts among their firms. 

Both individuals were charged under the Criminal Code with conspiracy to rig bids, conspiracy to commit fraud, and fraud over $5,000. At the time of the alleged conspiracy, Patrice Mathieu was Vice President of Tecsult Inc. (now Consultants AECOM Inc.), and André Côté was Vice President of Roche ltée, Groupe-conseil (now Norda Stelo Inc.).


“The recent charges brought before the Court of Québec serve as a reminder that we will do everything in our power to hold accountable all those who break the law by rigging bids on public contracts.”

Matthew Boswell,
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • The Competition Bureau’s investigation was initiated following an immunity application submitted through its Immunity and Leniency Programs.

  • 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.

  • Rigging bids on infrastructure contracts raises costs for municipalities and reduces available public funds to meet important public needs.

  • The Bureau strongly encourages anyone who suspects a company or individual of being involved in illegal agreements, such as bid-rigging, price-fixing, market allocation or supply restriction, to report it using its online complaint form.

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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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