It’s a comparatively minor case, but for those who are hoping Canada’s various white-collar crime units will protect us from lawbreakers, this doesn’t exactly bode well:
Corporate Research Group… pleaded guilty today in an Ottawa court to a criminal charge of bid-rigging. The company is also under a court order that prohibits it from engaging in any conduct contrary to the bid-rigging provisions in the Competition Act.
Here’s the backstory: CRG and one of its “competitors” colluded to rig bidding for a real estate contract with Public Works Canada. Bureaucrats noticed that their paperwork was sloppy, and an investigation was launched, leading to CRG pleading guilty in court. It turns out, according to CBC, that they actually won the contract in question, and consequently received a $312,000 payment from the government.
In exchange for which, they are now paying a $125,000 fine, plus — quelle horreur! — they’re going to be subject to a 5-year court order that orders them not to break the law again. Um, what? I realize I’m an ignoramus when it comes to legal matters, but I kind of thought the law was a standing order in and of itself. Why should a company be “punished” with a court order saying it is not allowed to break the law? It’s not allowed to break the law anyways.
New prisons for the blue-collar criminals, new tickets out of jail for the white-collar criminals. The Harper government may be tough on crime, but at least they respect the class system, right?Tweet