Montreal

Montreal disqualifies Dessau from bids for 5 years

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum has disqualified the Dessau engineering firm from bidding on any contracts with the city for the next five years.

Mayor says any firm that took part in collusion faces the same fate

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum names Dessau as the first engineering firm to be banned from bidding on city contracts for five years.

Montreal Mayor Michael Applebaum has disqualified the Dessau engineering firm from bidding on any contracts with the city for the next five years.

Applebaum said Dessau was advised on Friday not to appear before a selection committee for pending city contracts, because any company that has admitted to or has been found guilty of collusion is ineligible.

A former vice-president at Dessau, Rosaire Sauriol, admitted in his testimony to the Charbonneau inquiry last month that he had been part of a cartel of engineering firms involved in bid-rigging on Montreal contracts.

"We have a policy that is very clear," Applebaum said Friday, adding that the city will be just as severe with any and all firms whose executives admit to having participated in collusion.

Letters to other firms on the way

Those who testify before the Charbonneau commission are immune from prosecution. However, Applebaum said Montreal's legal department has ruled that immunity does not extend to the firm for which that individual worked, when it comes to contracts.

"Dessau will not be the only firm that will be unable to participate in the city's call-for-tenders process," Applebaum said.

He said other companies will receive letters in the coming days, informing them of the city's policy.

"It is a policy which has teeth," Applebaum said. "It is extremely useful and will surely prove to be even more useful in the coming weeks and months."

Sauriol said last month many of Montreal's major engineering firms participated with Dessau in the bid-rigging scheme, among them SNC-Lavalin, CIMA, Genivar and SM.

"We're guilty, we did it," Sauriol testified at the time.

He quit his post with Dessau just a few days after that testimony.

Dessau was one of the two companies awarded the contract for a controversial water meter project that was eventually cancelled.

now