A request to delay the eviction of the tenants of a Central Ave. property, one of which is a sitting member of city council, has been denied.
A Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled on Wednesday, April 19, to deny the Embee Diamond Technologies Inc. request to postpone the City of Prince Albert from evicting tenants of 1203 Central Ave. Back in February, the city took ownership of the property after MFN & MB Holdings Inc., the primary holder of the property, to pay $176,046 in taxes.
Ward 3 Coun. Evert Botha is the Chief Operating Officer of Embee Diamonds, which operates out of 1203 Central Ave and owns 40 per cent of MFN & MB Holdings. He said the matter is with his lawyers and wouldn’t comment on the decision but offered general comments on the case with his father Mike Botha, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the company.
Both say they wish to move forward.
“As a councillor, I respect the city’s position on this. As a business, I just want to get through this phase and move on,” Evert said. “We believe in this city, we believe in this community and I would certainly like to see a program in place that would attract more businesses to make Prince Albert their home.”
Mike Botha agreed and said he hopes to see the city become a manufacturing hub.
“It’s always too public when these things happen but we are up to the challenge,” Mike said.
Mayor Greg Dionne told paNOW he's satisfied with the court's decision.
He said he knows the public is concerned about this issue but stressed the Ward 3 councillor is not receiving any special treatment.
The property issue isn’t the only lawsuit the Bothas are dealing with.
Embee Diamonds is currently in a legal battle with I.D.H. Diamonds NV over a matter of $732,779 USD. The Belgium-based company is alleging Embee Diamonds owes them that amount after purchasing raw diamonds back in 2011.
Both did not provide much comment as the case remains before the court.
"We have never had any intent not to make good on any of the investors who came onboard,” Mike said.
His son echoed his sentiments.
“It’s been a long road for us,” Evert said. “The better part of nine years here in Prince Albert. We’re [finally] at a stage where we brought the new shareholders onboard and Mike will be travelling in the coming days to finalize the transactions. It will change our lives in the coming weeks and allow us to really get back to what brought us to Prince Albert in the first place and that’s to be a proud Canadian export.”
Despite these legal challenges, Mike said the business is busy with work coming in on a constant basis. He said the company is looking to expand and is currently acquiring new equipment and staff. In the long-term, he said, the outlook continues to look positive.
“Our investors have way bigger plans than we can ever dream for,” he added.
Embee Diamonds is a P.A. based family-owned company which specializes in diamond cutting and polishing sirius star diamonds.
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