POLITICS

U.S. firm says P.E.I. broke confidentiality, province rejects allegation

04/10/2015 05:31 EDT | Updated 06/11/2015 09:59 EDT
CHARLOTTETOWN - A U.S. company alleges in a lawsuit that the Prince Edward Island government violated confidentiality provisions in a memorandum of understanding about setting up a financial services centre.

Capital Market Technologies said in a statement of claim filed Thursday that it is suing the province for $25 million for allegedly failing to act honestly in the performance of its contractual obligations.

The statement of claim says a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capital Market Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding on July 6, 2012, with Innovation PEI to hold discussions to develop the financial services centre.

The company alleges in its lawsuit that former finance minister Wes Sheridan and Chris LeClair, the premier's former chief of staff, violated that understanding by allowing other companies to bid on setting up such a centre.

The government has filed a statement of defence that denies recommending a company that was "better than the plaintiffs."

The government also says in that document that the memorandum of understanding expired without a final deal and it didn't violate any contractual obligations because no final contract was signed.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

In addition to Sheridan and LeClair, the lawsuit also names Steve Maclean, the clerk of the executive council; Allan Campbell, former chief of staff to Robert Ghiz; and Brad Mix, a director for Innovation PEI and Cheryl Paynter, CEO of Innovation PEI.

The provincial lawyer who filed the statement of defence also represents those named defendants.

The lawsuit is also claiming $25 million against two Charlottetown businessmen who aren't represented by the province, alleging breach of fiduciary duty.