Montreal firm to pay $4M settlement as part of Gatineau bid-rigging scheme


An engineering firm has been ordered to pay a sizeable settlement in connection to charges of bid-rigging on contracts with the City of Gatineau and other Quebec municipalities.

The settlement filed with the Superior Court of Quebec on Wednesday comes after a Competition Bureau investigation revealed a bid-rigging scheme stretching from 2002 to 2011 targeting public infrastructure contracts in Gatineau, Laval and Québec City, as well as various municipalities in the Montreal region. Last June the bureau’s ongoing investigation charged four individuals at three engineering firms across the province with conspiring to divide up public tenders, affecting 21 Gatineau contracts from 2004 to 2008.

Wednesday’s ruling requires Montreal-based WSP Canada, known during the scheme as Genivar, to pay out $4 million in settlement costs, taking into consideration the company’s participation in the Quebec government's Voluntary Reimbursement Program and an internally implemented corporate compliance program.

The settlement will be the second such payout from an engineering firm named in the case, with Montreal-based Dessau paying $1.9 million last month. Dessau’s former director Dave Boulay received a one-year sentence in January after pleading guilty to bid-rigging charges.