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Cases of gasoline price-fixing

Background

An investigation that began in 2004 into price-fixing in one Quebec market eventually exposed other cases in Quebec and in Ontario.

Quebec cases

The Bureau investigated price-fixing of retail gasoline in four towns in Quebec: Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, and Sherbrooke.

Cases of gasoline price-fixing in Quebec
Date Details Hidden Search Terms
June 12, 2008 Criminal charges were laid against 13 individuals and 11 companies accused of fixing the price of gasoline at the pump in four local markets in Quebec: Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, and Sherbrooke.

Three companies and an individual pleaded guilty:
  • Les Pétroles Therrien Inc. (operating under the Petro-T banner) and Distributions Pétrolières Therrien Inc. were fined $179,000.
  • Ultramar Ltée was fined $1,850,000.
  • Jacques Ouellet, an employee of Ultramar Ltée, was fined $50,000.
price, fixing, Ultramar, Jacques, Ouelle, Petro-T, Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, Sherbrooke
September 2008 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Victoriaville.
  • Daniel Leblond, a sales representative formerly employed by Les Pétroles Global Inc. (operating under the Olco banner), was fined $10,000.
price, fixing, Olco, Daniel, Leblond
October 31, 2008 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Magog and Sherbrooke.
  • Pierre Bourassa, a sales representative formerly employed by Les Pétroles Global Inc. (operating under the Olco banner), received a 12-month sentence to be served in the community.
price, fixing, Pierre, Bourassa, Olco
March 17, 2009 Two individuals and a company pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Victoriaville and Thetford Mines:
  • Carol Lehoux, a senior executive of Philippe Gosselin et Associés Limitée, received a 10-month sentence (to be served in the community) and 75 hours of community service.
  • André Bilodeau, a former representative of Philippe Gosselin et Associés Limitée, received a 10-month sentence (to be served in the community) and 75 hours of community service.
  • Philippe Gosselin et Associés Limitée, a company specializing in the sale of petroleum products (under the Shell banner) was fined $600,000.
price, fixing, Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Carol Lehoux, André Bilodeau, Philippe Gosselin
March 30, 2009 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke and Magog:
  • Christian Payette, sales director for Les Pétroles Global Inc., a company specializing in the sale of petroleum products under the Olco and Esso banners, received a 12-month sentence (to be served in the community) and was ordered to make a $5,000 donation to a non-profit organization.
price, fixing, Olco, Esso, Christian Payette
May 21, 2009 Two individuals and a company pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Victoriaville:
  • Jean-Yves Plourde, a former independent dealer under the Olco banner, was fined $10,000 and sentenced to 150 hours of community service.
  • Les Pétroles Cadrin Inc., selling petroleum products under the Sonerco and Axco banners, was fined $90,000.
  • Daniel Drouin, a former representative of Les Pétroles Cadrin Inc., was ordered to make a $10,000 donation and received an absolute discharge.
price, fixing, Olco, Sonerco, Axco, Jean-Yves Plourde, Les Pétroles Cadrin Inc., Daniel Drouin
October 23, 2009 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke:
  • Gisèle Durand, the former owner of a service station under the Esso banner in Sherbrooke, received a 4-month sentence (to be served in the community) and ordered to make a $20,000 donation to a charitable organization.
price, fixing, Esso, Gisèle Durand
December 7, 2009 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke:
  • Michel Dubreuil, the former owner of two service stations under the Esso banner in Sherbrooke, received a 6-month sentence (to be served in the community) and ordered to make a $25,000 donation to a charitable organization.
price, fixing, Esso, Michel Dubreuil
March 25, 2010 Additional charges were laid against a company accused of fixing the price of gas at the pump in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, and Sherbrooke.
July 15, 2010 Additional charges are laid against 25 individuals and 3 companies accused of fixing the price of gas at the pump in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, and Sherbrooke. price, fixing, Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, Sherbrooke
May 30, 2011 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Magog:
  • Micheline Lapointe-Cabana, owner of a service station in Magog operated under the Petro-Canada banner, was sentenced to pay a fine of $20,000.
price, fixing, Petro-Canada, Micheline Lapointe-Cabana
June 10, 2011 Two individuals pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Thetford Mines:
  • Claude Bédard, a former area sales manager for Les Pétroles Irving Inc. responsible for the Thetford Mines market, was sentenced to pay a fine of $15,000.
  • Stéphane Grant, a former area sales manager for Les Pétroles Irving Inc. responsible for the Thetford Mines market, was sentenced to pay a fine of $10,000.
price, fixing, Les Pétroles Irving Inc., Thetford Mines, Claude Bédard, Stéphane Grant
January 2012 Additional charges were laid against an individual and a company accused of fixing the price of gas at the pump in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, and Sherbrooke. price, fixing, Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Magog, Sherbrooke
January 9, 2012 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke:
  • Donald Darby, owner of a service station operated under the Shell banner, was sentenced to pay a fine of $10,000.
price, fixing, Shell, Donald Darby
January 27, 2012 Seven individuals pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Thetford Mines:
  • Gary Neiderer, a territorial manager employed by Sonic, was fined $3,000.
  • Fabien Chouinard, a territorial manager employed by Sonic, was fined $4,000.
  • Jacques Blais, owner of service stations operated under the Shell banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Louis Blais, owner of service stations operated under the Shell banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Luc Fecteau, owner of service stations operated under the Esso banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Yvan Grondin, owner of service stations operated under the Esso banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Jacques Robert, owner of service stations operated under the Esso banner, was fined $5,000.
price, fixing, Thetford Mines
March 8, 2012 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Thetford Mines:
  • Robert Murphy, a territorial manager employed by Sonic (now retired), was fined $7,500.
price, fixing, Thetford Mines, Robert Murphy
April 13, 2012 A company and five individuals pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Victoriaville:
  • Société Coopérative Agricole des Bois-Francs, owner of the Sonic banner station in Victoriaville, was fined $124,000.
  • Marc-Yvan Létourneau, former owner of a station operated under the Sonerco banner, was fined $10,000.
  • Tomas Fréchette, former president of Gestion Datom Inc., operating a station under the Petro-T banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Martin Fréchette, manager of a station operated under the Sonic banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Ghislain Lallier, former owner of station operated under the Esso banner, was fined $5,000.
  • Normand Roy, former owner of station operated under the Shell banner, was fined $5,000.
price, fixing, Victoriaville, Sonic, Petro-T, Gestion Datom Inc., Esso, Shell
September 28, 2012 Criminal charges were laid against a company and an individual for fixing the price of retail gasoline in Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, and Sherbrooke. price, fixing, Victoriaville, Thetford Mines, Sherbrooke
December 28, 2012 An individual pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke:
  • Martin Proulx, a retailer operating under the Petro-Canada banner in Sherbrooke, was fined $5,000.
price, fixing, Sherbrooke, Martin Proulx
March 28, 2013 On January 8, 2013, two individuals pleaded guilty to criminal charges for conspiring to fix the price of gasoline at the pump in Sherbrooke. On March 28, 2013, they were fined as follows:
  • Sylvie Fréchette was fined $5,000.
  • Valérie Houde was fined $3,000.
price, fixing, gasoline, Sherbrooek, Sylvie Fréchette, Valérie Houde
August 16, 2013 On March 22, 2013, three individuals were found guilty for their role in a gasoline price-fixing conspiracy in Sherbrooke and Magog. On August 16, 2013, they were fined as follows:
  • Yves Gosselin, an Irving employee, was fined $15,000.
  • Michel Lagrandeur, an independent dealer under the Shell banner, was fined $15,000.
price, fixing, gasoline, Sherbrooke, Magog, Yves Gosselin, Michel Lagrandeur
April 17, 2015 In August 2013, a company was found guilty for fixing the price of retail gasoline in Victoriaville, Sherbrooke, and Magog. On April 17, 2015, the company was fined as follows:
  • Les Pétroles Global Inc. was fined $1 million.
price, fixing, gasoline, Victoriaville, Sherbrooke, Magog, Les Pétroles Global Inc.
November 6, 2017 Criminal charges were laid against a company accused of retail price maintenance in the gasoline industry in Thetford Mines and Sherbrooke.
  • Irving Oil Limited pleaded guilty and was fined $287,583.
Note: This guilty plea for retail price maintenance relates to the Competition Act that was in force before the 2009 amendments that decriminalized price maintenance conduct under the Act.

Price maintenance may occur when a supplier prevents a retailer from selling a product below a minimum price by means of a threat, promise, or agreement.
price, fixing, gasoline, Thetford Mines, Sherbrooke, Irving Oil Limited
November 6, 2019 An individual was found not guilty by jury, following a trial before the Quebec Superior Court. trial, not guilty, Quebec Superior Court

Ontario cases

Through the Bureau’s Immunity Program and the cooperation of a number of companies under the Leniency Program, the Bureau became aware of retail gasoline price-fixing activities that occurred between May and November 2007 in Kingston, Brockville, and Belleville, Ontario.

Cases of gasoline price-fixing in Ontario
Date Details Hidden Search Terms
March 20, 2012 Three companies pleaded guilty to fixing the price of retail gasoline:
  • Pioneer Energy LP pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Kingston and Brockville and was fined $985,000.
  • Canadian Tire Corporation pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Kingston and Brockville and was fined $900,000.
  • Mr. Gas pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Brockville and was fined $150,000.
Each company is subject to a court order for 10 years and must educate its employees about the Competition Act.
price, fixing, gasoline, Ontario, Pioneer Energy LP, Canadian Tire Corporation, Mr. Gas
April 13, 2012 Suncor Energy Products Inc. (Sunoco) pleaded guilty to fixing the price of retail gasoline in Belleville and was fined $500,000. price, fixing, gasoline, Ontario, Belleville, Suncor Energy
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