Bid rigging scrutinized

Competition Bureau of Canada’s efforts to identify and prevent bid rigging in construction contracts

BY THE CANADIAN PRESS

OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau of Canada says its efforts to identify and prevent bid rigging in construction contracts this year has already turned up potential criminal activity — just as new federal infrastructure money begins to flow.

Pierre-Yves Guay, the bureau’s assistant deputy commissioner, said some of the educational outreach the bureau has delivered since April has resulted in illegal activities being uncovered and inquiries being launched. Guay couldn’t say if any of the situations were related to projects funded from the new infrastructure program.

“I cannot confirm that for now, but … I’m sure you’re going to be able to see some developments in the coming months,” he said.

Those projects are overseen by provincial and municipal governments, who own the majority of infrastructure in the country and are responsible for tendering contracts. The federal government’s role is to provide cash once receipts are submitted.

The Competition Bureau warned the government months ago that the Liberals’ infrastructure commitment, originally slated at $60 billion in extra spending over 10 years, but now upped to a commitment of more than $90 billion over an additional two years, would prove very tempting for companies looking to illegally boost their bottom lines.

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