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October 27, 2017 9:48 pm

NDIT and Commonwealth Settle Legal Battle

Friday, July 29, 2016 @ 6:19 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Northern Development Initiative Trust says it has reached a settlement with Commonwealth Campus to end a legal proceeding regarding development lands in the 400 block George Street.

In a news release issued late Friday afternoon, NDIT says the development of these lands can now proceed and can be positioned for additional investment in a part of the city’s downtown that has been transformed in recent years to include new shops, restaurants, a renovated Ramada Hotel and the Wood Innovation and Design Centre.

On November 28th, 2012 NDIT had filed a foreclosure notice in B.C. Supreme Court against Commonwealth Campus and its partners.  The specific matter involved a mortgage and security agreement taken by the group with NDIT to buy property parcels on George Street in the vicinity of the former Prince George Hotel.  NDIT was allegedly owed more than $1.45 million, plus interest, and had been expecting the amount to have been fully re-paid by October 31st, 2012.

In it’s news release NDIT says the terms of the mediated settlement remain confidential.  It continues “for Northern Development the settlement resolves an outstanding proceeding, creating more certainty for the organization as it remains in a strong financial position to continue investment in communities throughout central and northern BC.”

“Due to the confidential  nature of the agreement, the Trust will not provide further comment on the matter at this time.”


Not entirely related, but does anyone know what the City is doing at the lot across from the Keg?

They have been working on it for a few weeks now, and just today were adding dirt and raking it all flat to prep for something?

A building?? A parking lot??

Just cleaning it up and will put in grass

NDIT is accountable to the public. It was established with money from the BC Government from the sale of BC Rail.

Not sure how NDIT and Commonwealth can have a confidential agreement with public funds.

If they do not want to discuss the details now, then one can assume that this information will be available in their 2016 Annual Report.

    They will report on the financial impact on their financial statement. There is no requirement to report on the reason for the outcome.

    If there is any significant detail it could affect future court cases on similar projects.

    That is why these quasi private organizations are set up in the first place… As a NGO they are exempt from FIO requests for accountability with public dollars. Ditto for the tourism marketing organizations among others with independent boards, but largely funded with tax dollars.

    So they do not have to tell us how bad or hard they shafted us. Joe public gets it again…

This smells funny.

NDIT started foreclosure proceedings when Commonwealth couldn’t pay. Commonwealth and its investors tried to delay the process as much as possible—including delaying when legal papers were served to the last hour.

When Commonwealth (and their investors who had signed personal guarantees) had to file a defense, it sounded like something out of a conspiracy movie. They claimed that everyone had set them up—from politicians to NDIT.

It was hard to swallow that these business people could be set up as badly as they claimed and that so many people were involved in setting them up.

One of Commonwealth’s investors is Dan McLaren, a mortgage broker—I think he even sat on BC Rail’s board. Shouldn’t he be well versed in mortgages and their risks? I think David McWalter was a Commonwealth investor—an engineer well versed in development risks. Wasn’t Heather Oland the CEO of Initiatives Prince George? How do you get a position like the CEO of Initiatives Prince George without being well educated in the ways the world? How did all of these well educated people not see the risks? How did they all get taken advantage of as was claimed. It just doesn’t make sense.

Needless to say, with vastly different accounts, the master of the court couldn’t make a fast decision—it now needed to go before a judge. And the stall tactics started. Almost four year later instead of a judge hearing the case, there is a confidential settlement, just as NDIT’s CEO is heading out the door.

Why would NDIT now settle? Why did it take four years to settle? Did Commonwealth’s defense actually have some merit? Did something else come out of the closet? Is NDIT’s CEO exit somehow tied to this bad loan?

It smells funny and without any details it will continue to smell. NDIT could have at least said that the public will get their money back with interest under the settlement, but they don’t say that. Why not?

What the heck has happened? Was something bad done and is it now being covered up? We all hope not, but it doesn’t look good…

    It seems people forget the convoluted “story” which emerged from the dealings of not only Commonwealth and NDIT, but also the BCLiberals who wanted the PG Hotel property and BID Construction who thought they had an “in” on winning a chance to bid on a public project even though they did not have the experience with building such a project. They build civil work, not architectural.

    So, go back to a bid of a primer and read Hoekstra’s column


    BTW, NDIT was involved, not IPG. Two different organizations. NDIT has money …. IPG did not.

    These are legal matters and are kept confidential whether it is a public or private corporation. There will likely be a summary version of the financial outcome in the annual report.

Dan McLaren, Commonwealth, interesting how those names keep coming up.

    They will continue to do so since it looks like he is ready to start his attempt at continuing to be a developer.

We know it is a bad deal for taxpayers that funded NDIT because the announcement was made after five o’clock on a Friday of a August long weekend…..

Uh, if the NDIT is a non-profit organization, why were they buying up property around the WIDC? The NDIT and Commonwealth bought up the entire block, hoping to cash in on the project, but it failed.

They are a public entity through the BC government, how can they hide any transactions?

    NDIT lent money to Commonwealth.

    Commonwealth did the buying.

Is this not covered by Freedom of information act ?

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