Pierre (Rocky) Simpson, the owner of Concept Energy Services Ltd., stands in the company’s Hay River yard in 2017 after receiving contracts for modular housing from the NWT Housing Corporation. The property is now listed with Century 21.
NNSL file photo

A work site connected to Rocky Simpson, the heavily indebted MLA for Hay River South, is up for sale. 

The property, made up of three adjoining lots, is listed with Century 21. The asking price is $699,999 plus GST. The Century 21 listing advises that the Vale Island property “has so much to offer.” 

NNSL Media was unable to verify ownership for two of three lots but one – lot 29 – is listed with the NWT Land Titles Office under Concept Consulting, a company owned by Simpson.

The property is where Simpson’s other company, Concept Energy, was working to build 19 modular homes after being awarded a contract by NWT Housing Corporation in 2016. The contract was revoked the following year after Concept Energy failed to deliver on the contract.

Last June, NWT Superior Court Judge Karan Shaner ordered Simpson and his companies to repay nearly $2 million to GNWT lending firm NWT Business Development Investment Corporation (BDIC) after failing to pay back a loan dating back to 2011.

Simpson didn’t publicly reveal his debt during the territorial election campaign in September. The revelation didn’t come until five days after the Oct. 1 election. Simpson beat his opponent, Industry Minister Wally Schumann, by a vote of 350 to 322.

Other media outlets have reported since the election that Simpson owes more than the $2 million – a claim that NNSL Media has been unable to confirm through official sources.

On Monday BDIC was supplied with a list of questions that included whether a formalized repayment plan has been initiated, to what extent the properties sale would contribute to debt repayment, and when the full debt is expected to be paid back.

Officials with the GNWT corporation refused to comment this week.

“The BDIC doesn’t comment on individual client files directly with media,” said Brad Poulter, manager of business services and communications.

NNSL Media also reached out to Canada Revenue Agency, to whom Simpson allegedly owes more than $1 million, but the agency declined to comment on questions concerning Simpson’s tax arrears due to confidentiality provisions in the Income Tax Act.

TJ Madigan, communications manager with the agency, stated in an email that it is the responsibility of the indebted party to contact the agency if they feel that cannot repay the debt.

“The CRA’s collection policy is to resolve outstanding tax debts in a mutually satisfactory way,” Madigan stated. “We encourage taxpayers to contact us and work together to develop suitable payment arrangements based on their ability to pay, if they cannot pay the total amount owing immediately.”

If the indebted person fails to co-operate with a new payment arrangement or refuses to pay, “legal action may be taken,” Madigan stated.

“These actions could include garnishment of wages or other income sources, seizure and sale of assets, or any other means under any applicable statutes or laws to collect an amount owing.”

According to the Century 21 listing, the 189,900 square-foot sized land on 102 Avenue is zoned by the Town of Hay River as “T-Transportation.” The property has about 297 feet of frontage along 109 Avenue to the North, 659-feet of frontage along 106 Street to the west, and 209 feet of frontage to the south.

Included in the sale is a 1,728 square-feet office building, which was built in 1983 and which features “concrete footing with preserved wood lift and skirting, tiled floors throughout and paneled walls.”

There is also a steel-frame 7,000 square-foot-plus warehouse on the property that was built in 1987 which includes “a reinforced concrete slab, metal siding and two overhead bay doors.”

The listing states that there is a smaller wood-frame warehouse and “a quonset-style tent” with approximately 7,000 square feet of space. It has “vinyl covering, supported by a light metal frame,” states the listing.

The property sale comes with “a railway easement crossing all three lots.” 

Multiple efforts to reach Simpson by phone and email for this story were unsuccessful.

NNSL Media also sought comment from Century 21 but received no response.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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