Businessman blasts city mayor over comments

By Jeff Labine
April 21, 2017 - 6:00am

The CEO of Embee Diamond Technologies Inc. is coming to his son's defence following comments by the Prince Albert mayor on what he believes is a private business matter.

Earlier this month, Mayor Greg Dionne proposed legislative changes to the municipal elections act to require running candidates to be in good financial standing with the city. 

Mike Botha, the company’s CEO and father of city councillor Evert Botha, told paNOW Dionne doesn’t fully understand Embee Diamond's multiple legal and financial challenges which includes trying to avoid eviction from 1203 Central Ave.

As paNOW previously reported MFN and MB Holdings Inc., which Embee Diamonds owns 40 per cent of, failed to pay $176,046 in taxes for the property resulting in the city taking possession. The tenants, which includes Ward 3 Coun. Evert who is the Chief Operating Officer of Embee Diamonds were ordered to leave the premises.

Mike called Dionne’s comments out of place.

“The mayor doesn’t seem to have his facts quite straight,” Mike said. “You have to differentiate between personal matters and business matters and [that] is something we need to be cognizant of. I don’t think he is very clear on that. The lines are a little bit blurred in his mind.”

He argued neither he, nor his son have defaulted on their taxes; the situation with 1203 Central Ave. involves a third party and they are the ones in default.

“I don’t think the mayor had the right to do what he did and say what he did,” he said. “It was out of place.”

Evert said both he and his father want to clear the matter up as it has been dragging along for several weeks. He didn’t want to comment on what the mayor had said but instead focus on the company moving forward.

“Greg is the mayor. Mayors come and go, councillors come and go,” he said. “I want to make sure that I support the right decisions for the community. I’m going to disagree with the mayor on some issues, I’m going to disagree with council on other issues. I think we have a very interesting makeup. As my father said, there’s confidential matters you don’t speak about in public and I think that was the notion of what my father was referring to. We just want to draw a line in the sand and say everything behind us is behind us.”

Dionne said he has been receiving constant calls about the situation and repeatedly tells residents Evert was elected legally and didn’t break any rules.

He said Mike is taking his comments the wrong way and stressed he has no issue with his Evert.

“It’s not revengeful or anything against Evert,” he said. “It is a reaction to it now that it is public. The majority of the people who have been calling me don’t think it is right. It’s totally up to the province to decide whether they agree with us or not. It’s not like I can wave a magic wand and change the law.”

He explained corporations require people to be in good standing when they join boards so for him it makes sense to bring in a similar rule for the city.

Dionne added his job as the mayor is to do what’s in the best interest of the residents.

 

Jeff.lab[email protected]

On Twitter: @labinereporter

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