What's Trade Centre Limited's responsibility in the concert loan scandal?

Top officials knew of improper financing and did nothing.

[Last weekend I wrote a piece recapping Halifax's multiple political scandals, but for today's dead-tree edition of the paper, I ask more detailed questions about Trade Centre Limited's connections to the city's concert loan fiasco, as follows. Recall that TCL, a provincial crown corporation, is contracted to operate the Metro Centre for the city, and that the improper loans were funnelled through a Metro Centre bank account managed by TCL.]

What we still don’t know: Responsibility of TCL officials. TCL president Scott Ferguson handles millions of dollars in contracts annually, and is intimately familiar with the workings of City Hall, but claims he had no clue that there was anything wrong with millions more secretly laundered through a TCL-managed account without the knowledge of city council. He was just doing as told, he says.

TCL’s controller, Robert Kanchuk, also knew about the loans; presumably a controller’s job is to vet the propriety of financial arrangements, but Kanchuk’s not talking.

Ferguson says he he also told Gordon Gillis, the former chair of the TCL board, about the loans. A lawyer, Gillis, according TCL’s website, “has held numerous senior positions including Deputy Minister of Justice; Deputy Attorney General; Deputy Solicitor General; Deputy Minister of Municipal Affairs; Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Deputy Minister of Labour; Deputy Minister of Community Services; and on two occasions he has been Deputy Minister to two Premiers and as such the Senior Executive officer for the Government of Nova Scotia.” In short, he’s a smart guy who knows the intricate legal details of, well, the law, but apparently he alerted no one about the improper financing. Gillis is “out of the country,” says a TCL spokesperson, evidently in some god-forsaken heathen hell-hole with no email or cell phone service.

And lest we forget, the loans date back to 2008, yet curiously the people in charge back then---former CAO Dan English and former TCL prez Fred MacGillivray---have thus far stayed below the radar screen.

For The Coast's complete coverage of the Common concert financing scandal, click here.

About The Author

Support The Coast

At a time when the city needs local coverage more than ever, we’re asking for your help to support independent journalism. We are committed as always to providing free access to readers, particularly as we confront the impact of COVID-19 in Halifax and beyond.

Read more about the work we do here, or consider making a donation. Thank you for your support!

Comments (2)

Add a comment

Add a Comment

Get more Halifax

Our Thursday email gets you caught up with The Coast. Sign up and go deep on Halifax.

Recent Comments