Government protected provincial interests in revoking resort deal: premier

Gary Kean
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Premier Tom Marshall answers questions during a break in provincial cabinet meetings held in Corner Brook on Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014.

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

Marshall will be leaving politics in September, but the legal action currently 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 Limited, 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 press 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 a court of law.

Organizations: Supreme Court, Humber Valley Resort

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Politics Observer
    August 27, 2014 - 09:40

    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 - 09:34

    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.”

  • Taxpayer
    August 27, 2014 - 08:58

    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.

  • Its Crazy
    August 22, 2014 - 05:18

    Why is it, when someone tell the truth, is look down on, But the one who tell the untruth is put on a pedal ? Just asking, to see if I can understand the difference, between the two. today I'm lacking that knowledge. Please explain.

    • wtf
      August 22, 2014 - 07:38