Former MHA’s company deep in debt

Andrew Robinson
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Statements of claim against Canada Ice Enterprises total more than $1.6 million

Marshall Dean — File photo

The efforts of former Liberal MHA Marshall Dean to successfully market iceberg water appear to have faltered, as statements of claim filed against Canada Ice Enterprises (CIE) over the last year total almost $1.7 million.

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) filed a bankruptcy order against the company, of which Dean was the president and owner, on Jan. 24, 2011. CIE is based in St. Anthony.

According to its application made to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, BDC was owed more than $500,000 by CIE. The money was for a loan obtained by CIE in 2006. BDC sent a letter addressed to Dean dated Nov. 8, 2010 stating he had defaulted on the loan.

An even larger sum is apparently owed to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). Three separate repayable contributions were made to CIE from 2004 to 2007 — two for $500,000, and another for almost $70,000.

As of Feb. 28, 2011, the amount owed to ACOA by CIE, including more than $60,000 interest, totalled more than $1.1 million. ACOA filed a statement of claim against CIE with the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador on Sept. 29, 2011.

Court documents show smaller amounts of money were also owed to Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission, Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, Newcap Inc., Atlantic Business Management, and W. Bryant Shears Ltd. Amounts owed to those groups totaled over $45,000.

A phone call made by The Telegram to CIE proved fruitless, as the number was not in service. An email sent to the company on Wednesday was not returned.

Though the bankruptcy order was filed against CIE on Jan. 24, 2011, Dean publicly remained optimistic about the company’s prospects. In a story published by The Telegram on Feb. 5 of last year, Dean said the company was hoping to expand its operations.

CIE harvested water from icebergs along the northeast coast of the province. It sold the bottled water under the 80 Degrees North brand.

Dean served as the MHA for The Straits - White Bay North after winning a byelection in 2009. He was defeated by NDP candidate Christopher Mitchelmore in last fall’s general election.

Twitter: TeleAndrew

Organizations: Canada Ice Enterprises, BDC, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Supreme Court Business Development Bank of Canada The Telegram Safety and Compensation Commission Multi-Materials Stewardship Board Newcap

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, St. Anthony.According

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Recent comments

  • Once Again
    January 12, 2012 - 11:17

    And yet once again, another major abuse of taxpayers' money. The rich get scratch my back and I'll scratch yours, and hopefully no one finds out. The public has a right to know what's going on. It is OUR hard-earned money. Absolutely sickening when you see people living below the poverty line, especially seniors, having to chose between food or heat or medications.

  • McLovin
    January 12, 2012 - 09:42

    How many other businesses out there are deep in debt? Why only report on this one? Just because the owner is a former MHA does not seem like a good enough reason to me. Or is the Telegram trying to suggest something else?

  • MBC
    January 12, 2012 - 09:35

    Why did ACOA make additional loans,from taxpayers money, when this company did not make any payments on the first loan? With all the bottles of water sold in this province, it is hard to understand why this company could not become very profitable; good clean water from icebergs. Did Government departments, NL and Feds, buy this products or did they buy from mainland companies? I think Marshall Dean owes the public his views as to why the company was a failure with a product that should have been an easy sell.

    • McLovin
      January 12, 2012 - 10:21

      The only question you need to ask Marshall Dean is how much a 500ml bottle of Canada Ice's water sells for compared to his competitors' (ie. Kirkland, Nestle, Presidents Choice, etc).

  • MUN Poli Sci
    January 12, 2012 - 09:17

    The ideological differences that used to separate our political parties are blurred - the Danny Williams administration was very small "L" liberal in its policies once oil revenues flowed to the provincial Treasury. This is where NL is lacking today: leadership. We have a rather weak Premier in terms of education and business experience, but the opposition parties are much weaker. Dwight Ball had a chance to re-invigorate his party. they publicly advertised for senior staff in the opposition office and the Liberal Party Office. Instead of growing, they hired their friends, former MHA's and campaign staff into positions of importance. their dwindling support continues to slide. The most unfortunate part is our Province is very poorly served by all of them.

  • Bill
    January 12, 2012 - 07:38

    I remember following this bi election a couple of years ago. The big hype was what a great businessman this guy was...well it certainly shows now. You would think anyone would be able to make a go if you got 'loans' like this from government. And apparently only paid back $13,000. Just wondering what the people in that region were thinking. If my memory serves me right wasnt he the MHA when the air ambulance was taken out of the area? Makes you wonder what he was at when this process was taking place! What a joke and an embarrassment for the Liberal Party, who by the way have hired Dean as an advisor! Wonder if he will advise the Business critic? WOW!

  • Charles
    January 12, 2012 - 06:55

    This is what happen to Newfoundland business...if our local people, don't support local business, then they are gone.My family try to buy what ever we can from newfoundland business,But i have to say,sometime it very hard to find local product's