Former MHA’s company deep in debt

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

Published on January 12, 2012
Marshall Dean

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.

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