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A P.E.I. golf course looking to sell keeps having that sale denied by provincial cabinet for reasons that remain unclear.
The owner of Glen Afton Golf Course had been in discussions with a company that lists a former member of the Charlottetown Hells Angels club as a director.
On Sept. 3, executive council denied permission to Afton Holdings Inc. to purchase the golf course. Afton Holdings Inc. lists Corey Falls and Dean Peterson as its directors. Falls was previously listed as the president of 102023 P.E.I. Inc., a numbered company that owned the Charlottetown Hells Angels clubhouse at 205 Fitzroy St.
Falls pleaded guilty to a charge of illegal gambling related to the clubhouse in March of 2018 and to a separate charge of uttering a threat in February of the same year.
Falls is no longer listed as a director of 102023 P.E.I. Inc., and police do not believe he is an active member of the club.
A separate application for the purchase of the golf course by Peterson was also denied on Sept. 3. A previous application for the sale to the same company was turned down by the previous cabinet of Liberal Wade MacLauchlan on Oct. 22, 2018.
The Guardian asked the Department of Agriculture and Land why the sale was denied. An e-mailed statement said the reasons behind the decision were confidential due to cabinet confidence.
"Cabinet considers many factors in making its decision including recommendations of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission," the statement said.
Under the province’s Lands Protection Act, large land sales must be approved by cabinet, although decisions are usually based upon the recommendation of the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission (IRAC).
RCMP Cpl. Andy Cook said he had heard rumours of the sale but said Falls was no longer a member of the Charlottetown Hells Angels club.
"We haven't seen him there in quite some time, since 2017 really. Our information indicates he is no longer associated to that group," Cook said.
"He is not of interest to us anymore."
Cook said he was aware that Falls is currently a businessman.
“I wouldn’t fault anyone with trying to develop a business,” he said.
No members of the RCMP were contacted by IRAC for comment prior to the denial of the sale, Cook said.
The Charlottetown Hells Angels club is still active, with a full-patch membership of at least six. Charlottetown’s club became an official chapter of the motorcycle club earlier this spring.
Local law enforcement has been watching the club.
The Guardian reached out to Falls for comment on the denial of the sale.
“Sorry you have the wrong person as I do not know anything about a deal on a golf course,” Falls wrote in an email.
Merina Currie, the current owner of the Glen Afton Golf Course, said she did not receive any information from IRAC about why the sale of the 150-acre golf course was denied.
"I'm still hoping that IRAC will change their mind,” Currie said.
Currie guessed the reason for the denial may have been related to its large size and its proximity to the Northumberland Strait.
The 18-hole course has been up for sale since at least 2016. A listing on the website of real estate agent Michael Poczynek notes the selling price of the property is just under $1 million.