Aquaréhab pleads guilty to rigging bids for municipal contracts, pays a $160,000 fine

Last accused in matter regarding water services in Quebec pleads guilty

February 17, 2017 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

Aquaréhab Eau Potable, a Quebec company specializing in water and sewer system infrastructure, pleaded guilty today, before the Quebec Superior Court, to eight counts of bid‑rigging for municipal water services contracts in the province of Quebec. As part of the plea, Aquaréhab will pay a $160,000 fine.

The company admitted that it participated in a bid‑rigging conspiracy for pneumatic excavation and cathodic protection contracts that occurred between June 2006 and March 2011 in Gatineau, Rosemère and Boucherville.

This is the second guilty plea in this bid‑rigging matter. A total of $277,000 in fines has been imposed by the court. Aquaréhab was the last remaining accused in the Bureau’s investigation, bringing this matter to a close.

Cracking down on cartels is a top priority for the Bureau, and it will continue to vigorously pursue all those involved in cartel activities.

Quick facts

  • The Bureau began its investigation in December 2011 after being informed of the bid‑rigging conspiracy by way of its immunity and leniency programs.
  • In June 2015, Les Entreprises Paysagistes Gaspard inc. pleaded guilty to nine counts of bid‑rigging and was fined $117,000.

Quote

"Bid‑rigging for municipal contracts hurts tax payers and municipalities. While this matter is closed, the Bureau’s fight against cartels continues. We will not hesitate to take necessary steps to ensure that companies play by the rules."

John Pecman
Commissioner of Competition

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