Nunavut judge blocks discharge of bankrupt taxi operator
Owner of former S&G Taxi has failed to provide info for three years worth of tax returns
A judge at Nunavut’s Court of Justice in Iqaluit has indefinitely adjourned an application to discharge from bankruptcy a Rankin Inlet taxi operator who failed to pay back more than a million dollars in loans to the public lending agency Nunavut Business Credit Corp.
A discharge is a standard procedure that releases the bankrupt person from claims made by creditors, but the process can be challenged in court by lenders or trustees.
David Wiseman, who owned and operated S&G Taxi in Rankin Inlet, was declared bankrupt last April due to amounts owed to the NBCC from loans, granted in 2012, in excess of $1.146 million.
Wiseman also faces two criminal fraud charges alleging he made false insurance claims from 2013 in excess of $347,000. Those charges have yet to be proven in court.
Justice Bonnie Tulloch ordered the adjournment when the bankruptcy trustee for MNP Ltd., Karen Aylward, told the court that Wiseman hasn’t filed several year’s worth of tax returns or provided evidence that he’s completed mandatory bankruptcy counseling programs.
MNP Ltd. is an Edmonton-based insolvency firm appointed to liquidate Wiseman’s assets after he was declared bankrupt last year.
According to Aylward, Wiseman has yet to file information necessary for the trustee to complete tax returns for 2014, 2015 and 2016, along with income expense statements for several months in 2016 and 2017.
“We are recommending an order adjourning the bankruptcy discharge indefinitely in order to give the bankrupted [Wiseman] some time to complete his outstanding duties,” Aylward told the court.
Wiseman, who did not attend the hearing, was listed as unrepresented by legal counsel on the court’s docket.
“I agree that there’s many things Mr. Wiseman has failed to do,” Tulloch acknowledged.
Aylward said Wiseman is currently facing “a number of health issues.”
Wiseman’s financial woes with the NBCC were followed shortly afterwards by calls from Nunavut MLAs for enhanced accountability and transparency from the publicly funded lending agency, which is a Nunavut Crown corporation.
Nunavut’s privacy commissioner weighed in on the issue last fall, saying during a standing committee hearing at Nunavut’s legislature that there’s nothing in NBCC’s current legislation that prevents it from publicly identifying who it lends money to.
The NBCC appeared originally reluctant to provide additional information on its clients, but ultimately indicated it will include further details on it’s lending practices in future annual reports.