Montreal, Quebec -- September 27, 2016 -- Three towing companies operating in Montreal have been accused of colluding to win lucrative city contracts to remove parked cars during snow clearing operations. Montreal's Inspector General, Denis Gallant, says the companies colluded on a regular basis to win the contracts. The accusations were made in a report released on September 26.
It seems possible that the operators of the companies did not know that what they were doing was illegal. According to Gallant, the owners shared the details of their practices with investigators from his department, apparently not realizing that they were admitting to collusion.
“It is obvious the entrepreneurs did not understand yet what is involved in collusion, despite the fact several reports have been published by the inspector general on the subject,” the report reads.
According to the report, the companies engaged in collusive pratices by discussing whether or not to bid on contracts, the number of trucks to include and price. According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, two of the operators named in the report told investigators "they would speak to each other about how much to bid and how many tow trucks they would use."
In addition, the report alleges that some companies would not bid in certain sectors, with the understanding that those contracts "belonged" to other companies.
Gallant's office has recommended that any current contracts with the named companies be cancelled, and the towing companies barred from bidding on similar contracts for five years.
The report identifies the owners of the towing companies as Jean-Marc Lelièvre, President of Remorquage Taz, Réal Tourigny, president of Auto Cam 2000 and Steve Lenfesty, President of Remorquage Mobile.