Revoking resort deal protected provincial interests: premier

Gary
Gary Kean
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Premier Tom Marshall says he doesn’t believe the lawsuit launched by the current owners of Humber Valley Resort will taint his political legacy.

Premier Tom Marshall answers questions during a break in provincial cabinet meetings held in Corner Brook Thursday. — Photo by Gary Kean/The Western Star

Marshall will leave politics in September, but the legal action before the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador won’t likely be resolved before that.

The numbered company that took ownership of the resort in March 2010 is suing the province for $170 million.

Its claim is that the province defied a Supreme Court order for a stay of proceedings involving any dealings involving the former owners of the resort as they went through the creditor protection process that ultimately ended in bankruptcy in 2008.

The allegation involves the province taking back expansion properties committed to the resort’s future development. The province took back the parcels of land just days before bankruptcy was declared because the former resort owners had defaulted on lease payments, as per the agreement in place.

The new owners, 61839 Newfoundland and Labrador Ltd., also allege the province had no right to amend land grants involving parcels of Crown land used to establish the initial stages of the resort’s development. The replacement grants were issued after 61839 took ownership of the bankrupted resort and contained amendments concerning usage of the land.

When asked about the lawsuit during a news conference in Corner Brook Thursday, the premier said he had to be careful about discussing a matter still before the courts.

What he did say was that the province had an agreement in place, not unlike agreements for royalties on natural resources such as oil and minerals, to sell the land and get a six per cent royalty from the lots sold by the resort.

When the owners defaulted, Marshall said the agreement was broken and government took back what he said was owned by the people of the province.

“We protected the interests of the province,” said Marshall, noting the allegations made by the new owners have yet to be proven in court.

 

 

Organizations: Supreme Court

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Corner Brook

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  • another upset voter
    August 27, 2014 - 11:32

    The PC government should be held accountable for their actions. The PC politicians who will be seeking reelection are; Paul Davis, John Ottenheimer, Steve Kent, Tony Cornect, Vaughn Granter, Terry French, Tom Hedderson, Derrick Dalley, Clyde Jackman, Daren King, Susan Sullivan, Keith Hutchings, Ray Hunter, Kevin O'Brien, Calvin Peach, Tracey Perry, Kevin Pollard and Wade Verge. Remember them on Voting Day.

  • Taxpayer
    August 27, 2014 - 09:45

    The PC administration know that they screwed up but they don’t want to admit it. The politicians are trying to hide their mistakes and tie it up in the court system until after the next provincial election. The government is run by politicians, the majority who have no conscience - they don’t care how many millions it may cost the taxpayers at the end of the day several years down the road. The PC politicians main concern is getting re-elected and getting their lucrative pensions.

  • Politics Observer
    August 27, 2014 - 09:26

    The PC Government must have a had a brain dead month back in December 2008. Not only did the PC Government disobey a court order and breach the HVR agreement and take back the expansion lands, but it was also in December 2008 that the PC Government took back the Abitibi assets, which has already cost the taxpayers in excess of 200 million dollars, not including the large clean up cost.

  • Jim
    August 27, 2014 - 09:12

    What the government did on December 1, 2008 is not a surprise. Back in October and November of 2008 when Humber Valley Resort was having financial difficulty there were rumours going around St. John’s that if the resort went into bankruptcy the government would not permit the expansion lands to be sold. As a matter of fact I even found something about this on the internet on a website called “We’re Crazy About Newfoundland” where it states “I hear from well placed sources that the government had made it clear at recent meetings that they are far from ready to be giving away the additional crown land at HVR, and that it will not be allowed to be part of any bid.”

  • Jim
    August 27, 2014 - 08:49

    What the government did on December 1, 2008 is not a surprise. Back in October and November of 2008 when Humber Valley Resort was having financial difficulty there were rumours going around St. John’s that if the resort went into bankruptcy the government would not permit the expansion lands to be sold. As a matter of fact I even found something about this on the internet on a website called “We’re Crazy About Newfoundland” where it states “I hear from well placed sources that the government had made it clear at recent meetings that they are far from ready to be giving away the additional crown land at HVR, and that it will not be allowed to be part of any bid.”

  • Steven
    August 27, 2014 - 08:06

    Premier Marshall, Hugo Chavez before he passed away was renowned the world over for his colourful rhetoric. The explanation that you gave for taking back the expansion lands is similar to remarks made by Hugo Chavez when he took assets from the American and British oil companies. He would say he did it to protect the national interest and that the assets belonged to the people. Premier Marshall’s comments were: “government took back what was owned by the people of the province”, “we protected the interests of the province”. Mr. Marshall, you made a similar comment in the legislature which was posted on the CBC News internet on May 1, 2013, when you commented on the money the province had to pay as a result of the improper expropriation of the Abitibi-Bowater assets. At the time you were Natural Resources Minister and you stated “the government is protecting the assets that belong to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador”. Premier Marshall, don’t insult the intelligence of the voters of Newfoundland and Labrador. You should fire your speech writer.

  • Scott
    August 22, 2014 - 10:34

    Am I reading this story line correct? He concern about his " Legacy he leaving behind "? Man I really would loves to comment on this one.

  • Jamie
    August 22, 2014 - 10:33

    The only money some business ever make is by suing and then settling out of court.