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P.E.I. government files motion to dismiss e-gaming lawsuit

E-gaming.
E-gaming. - 123RF Stock Photo

A law firm representing the province has attempted to dismiss a $50-million lawsuit levelled filed by one of the key players in the failed e-gaming venture.

Robert Ghiz
Robert Ghiz

The Stewart McKelvey law firm, representing, among others, former premier Robert Ghiz and the province, has filed a motion to dismiss an amended statement of claim initiated by Capital Markets Technologies (CMT). In its statement of defence, the statement of claim was described as “scandalous, frivolous, vexatious or an abuse of process,” which also “violates the rules of pleading in a legal proceeding”.

CMT’s amended statement alleges that the province and 14 other individuals, most of whom had varying connections to the Ghiz government, committed “misfeasance in a public office.” The statement also alleges that the provincial government committed a breach of a contract with CMT.

Chris LeClair.
Chris LeClair.

A number of CMT’s claims focus on the figure of Chris LeClair, Ghiz’s former chief of staff. The statement of claim alleges LeClair advised CMT to establish a shell corporation, known as “7645686 Canada Inc.” in order to negotiate a contract with the province to establish an electronic payment platform for e-gaming services. It also alleges LeClair “sought and obtained funding” from the P.E.I. government for a consultant to “write a recruiting package for CMT”.

These allegations are denied in the province’s statement of defence, which says LeClair denies providing “any direction or suggestion whatsoever regarding 7645686.”

The province’s statement of defence also argues that a memorandum of understanding signed between Innovation P.E.I. and “7645686 Canada Inc.” stated that neither party would be liable for “economic loss suffered by the other as a result of a breach of this MOU”.

The initial lawsuit filed by CMT was struck down by the P.E.I. Supreme Court in February of 2016, but CMT was allowed to file a new statement of claim. The new claim added several new defendants, resulting in a requirement for CMT to post over $1 million in securities to the court.

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