Baffin Fisheries ex-CEO denies fraud accusations; countersues for $20M – North

The former CEO of the Baffin Fisheries Coalition (BFC) says he never defrauded the company, and is now countersuing the BFC for breach of contract and defamation.

Last month, BFC launched a $1.4 million lawsuit against Garth Reid, alleging he was building on his private land in Winterton, N.L., and invoicing the work to BFC, and its subsidiary Niqitaq Fisheries, claiming it was for a project in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.

The Baffin Fisheries Coalition is the largest harvester of shrimp in Canada’s North. It’s co-owned by hunters and trappers organizations in five Nunavut communities.

In a statement of defence filed in the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, Reid denied the allegations against him and said if any payments were made by BFC for his own property, he didn’t know about it and they were done out of negligence by the company.

Reid also says he and his wife Valerie — who’s also named in the suit — are not the owners of the Winterton property, though they admit they had intended to build a home there using their own funds. Reid’s lawyer clarified to CBC News that the property is owned by Reid’s father.

The statement of defence says around the fall of 2016, Reid saw an invoice from the construction company for work at the Winterton property on the desk of BFC’s then-chief financial officer, David Taylor.

“At that time, Garth specifically advised Taylor that the [construction] company that was performing construction work at the Winterton property and which was also performing work for [BFC] in Pond Inlet, had made a mistake in sending invoices for work at the Winterton property to [BFC],” the statement of defence reads.

“Garth specifically directed Taylor not to pay those invoices, and to advise Symphony Construction that any work on the Winterton property was to be billed to Garth personally.”

Reid goes on to say that if Taylor authorized any payments for the Winterton property, Reid didn’t know about it and it was…

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