Roads & Paving
Charges laid in Québec road work bid-rigging case
October 24, 2023 By Rock to Road Staff
GATINEAU, Que. — Two men accused of conspiracy to rig bids on public works projects were formally charged in the Court of Québec on Tuesday.
Richard Dionne and Richard Labelle stand accused of conspiring to rig bids on work being done on Highway 50 – since renamed Autoroute Guy‑Lafleur – in the Gatineau region of Québec in 2021.
At the time of the alleged conspiracy both men worked for the Coco Asphalt division of Coco Paving Inc., where Dionne was the general manager of Sales for Québec and Ontario and Labelle was the sales manager for Québec.
The Competition Bureau of Canada says it conducted an investigation that turned up evidence Dionne and Labelle conspired to undermine the competitive process by agreeing to rig bids submitted in response to a call for tenders from the Ministère des Transports du Québec. The charges were laid under the bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act and the conspiracy provisions of the Criminal Code.
Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition for the Government of Canada, says conspiracies to rig the bidding process can damage the economy.
“When individuals conspire to rig bids for public contracts, it is taxpayers who pay the price. We will continue to vigorously pursue all those who engage in anti-competitive activities,” he said.
Individuals convicted of bid-rigging could face up to 14 years in prison and possible fines.
Dionne and Labelle have not been convicted and will return to court at a later date.
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