blog/view/11875/1/worthington+ properties+issued+orders+in+ mackenzie
... Worthington Properties has been issued a set of orders from the Ministry of the Environment that require Worthington properties to carry out certain functions around spill prevention. "It also give us the ability to step in and ensure those actions are taking place" says Minister of Forests Pat Bell. He adds that Worthington properties has not paid its staff at the mill for some time, "There was an imminent risk of staff leaving and unionized workers leaving the premises and leaving it in a state that would have caused immediate risk to the environment." Bell says the owner of the mill, Dan White, says he still intends to operate the facility but doesn't have the cash flow right now. ... The Mayor of Mackenzie, Stephanie Killam says Worthington Properties has yet to pay the taxes on the property and the amount is in the $2 million dollar range. ...
B.C. unsure who will pay for pulp mill cleanup
The provincial government may have to go to Central Europe to find someone to pay the $50-million price tag for the cleanup of dangerous chemicals inside a northern B.C. pulp mill.
The owner of the company that bought the mill, Dan White of Worthington Properties, is nowhere to be found -- and the only listed director of the company is a man who resides in Slovenia.
"Nobody's happy about the situation," B.C. Attorney-General Wally Oppal told CTV News.
Last year, it seemed like the town of Mackenzie, B.C., would dwindle after the bankruptcy of Pope and Talbot, which operated a pulp mill near the town.
But when Alberta company Worthington Properties agreed to buy the mill in September, four months ago, it seemed like a chance to revive the town, said B.C.'s Forestry Minister, Pat Bell.
"[White] was certainly an interesting man, he said all of the right things, and made it clear that his intent was to operate the mill," said Bell, who met with White during the sale.
Instead, by January, the mill employees weren't getting receiving their paycheques, and the company had racked up $2-million in back taxes owed to the town of Mackenzie.
And when it appeared that pipes at the mill might freeze in -30 degree temperatures, risking the leak of tons of deadly chlorine dioxide over the 5,000 inhabitants of Mackenzie, the provincial government stepped in Sunday to manage the mill.
The mayor of Mackenzie said that the town had tried to contact White and Worthington, but they never returned the phone calls.
"The owners are not there you can't find them. You can phone them, you don't get any answers," said Stephanie Killam. "We haven't had any contact with them for a number of months, actually."
When CTV News tried to contact White at his listed Worthington address in Edmonton, a secretary told us that White was busy -- and that he would issue a press statement. No statement was issued.
CTV News checked several addresses in Edmonton but we were told that the company had recently left each one.
When we checked the Edmonton Court of Queen's Bench, we found that Worthington Properties had been sued by construction companies and interior designers 77 times since 2002.
White himself was convicted of money laundering in the 1990s, and also was named in court documents as the target of a RCMP undercover investigation.
And the only remaining director of Worthington Properties is now Drago N. Puskaric, who resides in Slovenia.
The leader of B.C.'s opposition says that the government should have done checks on Worthington when it bought the mill.
"Instead he walked away, left a huge environmental liability, and we could all be paying for it," said NDP Leader Carole James. "If that's the government doing its job, we're all in trouble."
But Bell said that there's no reason the government would have checked the sale. The mill's environmental permits were in order, and there were no forest licenses changing hands, he said.
"There was no role for the provincial government to take in the transfer of the asset," he said.
The province has agreed to take on responsibility for the pulp mill for 15 days.
"I don't know how in 15 days they're going to clean up those chemicals," said Carl Bernasky a union representative for the workers in Mackenzie.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Kent Molgat and Jon Woodward
Now if I were the employees at this mill I would be looking at ways have the mill employee owned and operated.
And if I were the Attorney General of BC I would be seeking ways to have White as well as Worthington Properties charged with Reckless Endangerment or possibly attempted Murder, as well as a miriad of environmental charges.
So, now, Mr.Campbell. How is it that your administration never seems to do any Due Diligence when dealing with these white collar criminals? I for one would really like to know?