Canadian Consulting Engineer

Quebec’s construction industry under media microscope

A media and political fracas has emerged in Montreal over charges that some construction firms are "colluding"...

October 19, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

A media and political fracas has emerged in Montreal over charges that some construction firms are “colluding” to keep prices artificially high on infrastructure projects.

A masonry contractor called Paul Sauve told Radio-Canada that several companies had worked out code messages, such as numbers based on a fictitious golf game, to indicate a price for a job, then other companies would then bid higher. The suggestion is that the firms would arrange it so that each would have a turn to get different contracts.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has said his government won’t intervene since the situation is under investigation by provincial police.

In a CBC report, the mayor of Montreal, Gerald Tremblay, questioned why the media was focusing on Montreal when the problem was province wide.

One commentator on CBC’s website suggested that one solution was to open all bidding to public scrutiny.


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