Turns out, some of them might have been right. A Globe and Mail article today (click here) reveals that the Competition Bureau of Canada is looking to these allegations. This is a pay article, so in case you can't read it, here's a short summary:
- The Competition Bureau is looking into allegations that Contractors have engaged in bid rigging and collusion to artificially inflate the cost of services and quotes provided to Condo Board and Property Managers. These are criminal charges under the Competition Act.
- The Bureau is targeting 144 condos in the GTA only at present (listed in the Globe article)
- Details are still confidential, but legal experts seem to think the Bureau is targeting the Contractors only, *NOT* Condo Board members or Property Managers.
- Condo Boards and their Property Managers get the joy of producing 10 years of records for the Competition (in my mind this would include records of all quotes and bids received, invoices for the winning bid, cancelled cheques, and Board minutes)
The CondoSensei's take on this.
- Wow. For those "Truthers" in condo buildings that have been accusing their Boards / Property Managers of this for years - this is going to be like finding an Obama birth certificate from Kenya... Boards / Property Managers should expect a lot of questions on this from owners.
- While I do believe that the majority of Property Managers, and Board Members act in good faith and are not "dirty", I have a feeling that as the Bureau continues to investigate, we may see a few crooked Property Managers and Board Members implicated as well.
- Just an Ontario and a GTA problem? I'm guessing as the Bureau investigates, probably not.
- Property Managers are supposed to keep all of the above mentioned records on behalf of the Board. Some Property Managers are meticulous about this but from my experience..... a lot are not. Especially if they have switched Property Managers in those 10 years at all. I suspect the Bureau is going to find a whole lot of nothing in terms of records they actually receive.
I have a feeling this is only the tip of the iceberg....stay tuned...