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WSP ordered to pay fine for bid rigging on Quebec contracts as it bolsters backlog to $7.7B


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March 14, 2019 by The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—Engineering firm WSP Global Inc. has been ordered to pay $4 million for bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in Quebec, according to the Competition Bureau.

Canada’s competition watchdog said March 13 the payment is part of a settlement filed with the Superior Court of Quebec for the company’s role in a bid-rigging scheme between 2002 and 2011, when the firm was known as Genivar Inc.

The scheme targeted public infrastructure contracts in the cities of Quebec, Laval and Gatineau, as well as certain municipalities in the Montreal region.

Engineering firm Dessau, which is no longer in operation, was ordered in February to pay $1.9 million for its role in the bid-rigging scheme between 2003 and 2011.

The Competition Bureau says WSP’s settlement took into account that the company participated in a voluntary reimbursement program and has also implemented a corporate compliance program.

The settlement comes as engineering firm SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. continues to be in the spotlight for fraud and corruption charges. Once a boutique firm, WSP has swelled to 48,000 employees from 17,000 in 2014, and aims to exceed rival SNC-Lavalin with 65,000 workers in the next three years.

Meanwhile, WSP a $7.7 billion backlog for last quarter on March 14. Revenue totalled $2.04 billion, up from $1.95 billion in the last three months of 2017 — making the $4 million the Competition Bureau ordered WSP to pay for bid-rigging on municipal infrastructure contracts in Quebec seem like a drop in the bucket.

Its market value of $7.39 billion now exceeds SNC-Lavalin’s by more than $1 billion.

With files from Christopher Reynolds at The Canadian Press


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