Local 3570

Local 3570


Charges urged against Port Alice mill

> Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 7:36 AM
> To:
tahsismushrooms@yahoogroups.ca
> Subject: [Tahsis Mushrooms] enough evidence in our view to support seven
> charges
Charges urged against Port Alice mill
>
> Following RCMP probe, U.S. owners are accused of fraud, failing to
> make payments for benefits
>
> Louise Dickson
> Times Colonist
> Friday, February 18, 2005
>
> The RCMP are recommending seven charges, including fraud and
> misappropriation of funds, be laid against John Sullivan, one of the
> owners of Port Alice Specialty Cellulose Inc., and against the company.
>
> "As a result of a four-month investigation, our team has unearthed
> enough evidence in our view to support seven charges," said Port Alice
> RCMP Cpl. Jeff Flindall. "The charges have been forwarded to Crown
> counsel and they will decide whether or not charges will be laid."
>
> Last May, Doman Industries and its creditors sold the troubled pulp
> mill on northern Vancouver Island to Lapointe Partners of Wisconsin
> for $1. Lapointe changed the mill's name from Western Pulp Port Alice
> Cellulose Operations and formed the company Port Alice Specialty
> Cellulose Inc.
>
> On Sept. 9, the union discovered that the company had failed to make
> the required payments for pension contributions, child support and
> dental and health premiums even though the money had been deducted
> from the workers' paychecks.
>
> Then the company declared bankruptcy on Oct. 22, stiffing the workers'
> on their last two weeks pay.
>
> A team of five RCMP officers from the north Island, including
> commercial-crime specialist Const. Roger Collin, launched an
> investigation.
>
> They have recommended charges of fraud, misappropriation of funds and
> breach of trust. A fourth charge -- threats and retaliation against
> employees -- stems from a letter Sullivan sent to pulp mill employees.
>
> The letter says allegations that the company owes pension and
> employees benefits costs are not true.
>
> "The company has been trying to get the facts out. This letter is an
> important step in that direction. We are seeking to find those
> responsible for spreading these stories and we will contemplate legal
> action," the letter says.
>
> The RCMP felt this letter was inappropriately directed to all
> employees and was worth of consideration by the Crown, said Flindall.
>
> The fourth charge is under new Canadian legislation based on U.S. law
> that protects whistle-blowers.
>
> "If you see something wrong when you're working for a company you can
> report it without fear of reprisal," explained Collin.
>
> The RCMP are also recommending three charges under the B.C. Pension
> Benefit and Standards Act. These include failing to remit employer and
> member pension monies, failing to keep employee pension contributions
> separate from employer assets, and failing to keep separate from
> employer assets employee pension contributions that were deducted.
>
> Sullivan has returned to the United States. Two others people listed
> on the company's board of directors -- Randall Rhodes and Christine
> Sengpiel -- also live in the U.S.
>
> Crown counsel spokesman Stan Lowe said the Crown has not received the
> case file yet.
>
> "I'm not in a position to speculate on what we would or could do,"
> said Lowe. "But generally speaking, individuals who commit offences in
> Canada and flee to other jurisdictions -- if we decide to approve
> charges we will seek their extradition. But it has to meet our
> charge-approval standards."
>
> Port Alice Mayor Larry Pepper said he was happy with the results of
> the RCMP investigation, "A lot of people are pretty pleased that the
> investigation brought something forward."
>
> Pepper said he wasn't sure how the Canadian justice system would bring
> the American owners back to Canada if charges are approved.
>
> "But I don't think it's a problem," he said with a laugh. "You could
> ask just about anyone in Port Alice to go down and get them -- 'cause
> we would."
>
> Don Vye, president of the Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union
> of Canada Local 514, said he felt subdued when he heard charges had
> been proposed.
>
> "If they press charges, my reaction will be a little more animated,"
> said Vye. "We thought there were questionable ethics going on."
>
> He said that about $1.15 million was missing from the pension fund,
> the Medical Services Plan, Great West Life disability insurance,
> Pacific Blue Cross, court-ordered family maintenance and
> employee-authorized deductions for Canada Savings Bonds.
>
> Mill worker John Smith said he hopes Crown vigorously pursues the
> recommended charges, "And I think the judge who awarded these guys the
> pulp mill for $1 should hear the case."
>
> Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
>
>
>
>
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
>
tahsismushrooms-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.ca
>
>
> Yahoo! Groups Links
>
> To reply to this message, go to:
>
>
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/tahsismushrooms/post?act=reply&messageNum=2
> 034
> Please do not reply to this message via email.
>
> To visit your group on the web, go to:
>
http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/tahsismushrooms/
>
> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
>
tahsismushrooms-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.ca
>
> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:
>
http://ca.yahoo.com/docs/info/tos.html
>
>
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this incoming message.
> Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> Version: 7.0.300 / Virus Database: 266.0.0 - Release Date: 2/18/05
>
>
>
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> Version: 7.0.300 / Virus Database: 266.0.0 - Release Date: 2/18/05
>
>