Contractors in Brandon, Manitoba, charged with conspiracy related to social housing projects
GATINEAU, QC, Dec. 19, 2022 /CNW/ – The Competition Bureau announced today that the Public Prosecution Service of Canada filed a preferred indictment against five contractors in Brandon, Manitoba, for alleged conspiracy to divide up contracts, among themselves, for refurbishment services for social housing units.
The charges stem from a Bureau investigation that found evidence that the accused individuals manipulated at least 89 contracts awarded by the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation between approximately December 2011 and February 2016. These contracts are valued at approximately $4.5 million.
The following individuals have each been charged under the Criminal Code with conspiracy to commit fraud over $5,000, and under the Competition Act for conspiracy to allocate contracts:
- Geoff Gregoire
- Guy Pringle
- James Kauk
- Ryan Lamont
- Doug Gunnarson
The Bureau acknowledges the extensive assistance it received from the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation, and the Brandon Police Service during the course of its investigation.
“Manipulating contracts to suppress competition is a serious crime. It results in higher costs for construction projects and is especially concerning when it comes to affordable housing. Cracking down on cartels is a top priority for the Competition Bureau, and we are determined to pursue all those who collude to increase their profits by defrauding public funds.”
Commissioner of Competition
- Individuals convicted of price-fixing, allocating markets, or restricting supply (also known as conspiracy) may receive fines of up to $25 million and/or be sentenced to a jail term of up to 14 years.
- Earlier this year, the Bureau released its Collusion Risk Assessment Tool to help procurement agents in Canada protect their processes from bid-rigging.
- Those who believe they are involved in an illegal agreement with their competitors can come forward and seek immunity from prosecution or lenient treatment in return for their cooperation with the Bureau’s investigation.
- The Bureau strongly encourages anyone who suspects that a company is making illegal agreements such as bid-rigging, price-fixing, market allocation or supply restrictions, to report it by using our online complaint form.
- Avoiding Business Collusion and Bid-rigging
- Toolbox for procurement officers: Detecting, preventing and reporting bid-rigging
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.
SOURCE Competition Bureau
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