Canadian Manufacturing

Génius Conseil Inc. to pay $300K in Québec bid-rigging settlement

Competition Bureau continues investigation into the rigging of bids for infrastructure contracts in Québec

June 22, 2020  by CM Staff

GATINEAU, Que. — Engineering firm Génius Conseil Inc. has been ordered to pay $300,000 for bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in Montréal and North Shore municipalities between 2002 and 2012.

The payment is part of a settlement reached by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) and filed June 19 with the Superior Court of Québec.

Génius collaborated with the Competition Bureau and the PPSC early in the bid-rigging investigation. The settlement takes into account that Génius previously reimbursed overpayments related to the bid-rigging through the Government of Québec’s Voluntary Reimbursement Program. It also takes into account that the company ceased all commercial operations in November 2014.

“This settlement comes as a result of the Competition Bureau’s relentless pursuit of those who steal money from taxpayers by rigging bids,” said Matthew Boswell, commissioner of competition, in a prepared statement. “I strongly encourage anyone who is or was involved in a cartel to come forward and cooperate with the Bureau through our Immunity and Leniency Programs.”

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This is the fifth settlement with an engineering firm resulting from the Bureau’s ongoing investigation into the rigging of bids for municipal infrastructure contracts in Québec. Five engineering firms have been ordered to pay a total of $8,850,000 for their respective roles in the bid-rigging scheme:

  • Genivar (now WSP Canada)
  • Dessau
  • Roche ltée, Groupe-conseil (now Norda Stelo Inc.)
  • SNC-Lavalin

The Bureau’s investigation has also resulted in guilty pleas by four executives of engineering firms Cima+, Genivar and Dessau for bid-rigging on City of Gatineau infrastructure contracts. They received conditional prison sentences totalling five years and 11 months, and court-ordered community service totalling 260 hours.