On January 27, 2014, the Competition Bureau announced that another company, Construction Beaudin & Courville Inc., and its president, Alain Courville, were each charged with one count of bid-rigging under subsection 47(2) of the Competition Act. The contracts in question involved road construction, water treatment and other infrastructure projects in the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu region of Quebec between January 2008 and December 2009.
The charges come as part of a larger investigation into an alleged widespread collusive scheme that gave preferential treatment to a group of contractors to obtain municipal contracts mainly for infrastructure projects in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and surrounding areas. In June 2012, 77 criminal charges were laid against 11 people and nine companies for their participation in the scheme.
The charges were laid following a joint investigation by the Bureau and the Sûreté du Québec’s Service des enquêtes sur la corruption, a division of the Unité permanente anticorruption (UPAC). The UPAC was established by the Government of Quebec in February 2011 with a mandate to coordinate and lead units for investigation, audit and prevention to fight corruption in the Quebec public system.