Crocus Resurrected

Blog, Commentary, Manitoba, Publius Tacitus

Winnipeg remained in winter’s grip, as Jack Dalgliesh, formerly a provincial civil servant

Publius Publius

and now retired and a whistleblower, shared his knowledge and opinions concerning the long-failed labour sponsored Crocus Investment Fund to a Frontier Centre breakfast gathering on April 30th.

Dalgliesh surprised his attentive audience of the curious by reporting that Crocus’ Main Street office remains open, despite the ongoing liquidation of the Fund’s assets, which began in 2005.  (Dalgliesh noted that the significant costs still being incurred through the liquidation process are being met by what is left of the assets of the Fund, further reducing recoveries available to Fund investors.)

And, following his calmly-delivered half hour review of his critical take of matters pertaining to Crocus’ collapse, which included a claim of malfeasance by the NDP government and its now-Premier and then-Minister of Finance Greg Selinger, he surprised again at the end of his talk by providing the departing audience with copies of his recent letter to federal Minister of Justice, Rob Nicholson.

In his letter, Dalgliesh accuses Selinger of breach of trust, claiming that Selinger not only championed a legislative amendment allowing Crocus shareholders to ‘roll over’ their maturing investments when he knew Crocus was illiquid, but also, and despite Selinger’s knowledge of Crocus’ ‘terminal’ problems, promoted new sales (resulting in significant losses by investors).

The former bureaucrat, who was a member of a team of civil servants that analyzed Crocus’ situation and prepared a critical Cabinet submission (signed by Selinger and presented to Cabinet), also claimed (both in his talk and letter) that Selinger allowed Crocus to publish a prospectus that, while failing to provide material adverse information, was used by Crocus and its union backers to sell the Fund to unwitting investors.

In concluding his letter to Justice Minister Nicholson, Dalgliesh not only asks that Selinger be ‘investigated for breach of trust for his actions and inactions’, but also calls for a federal ‘.. review of NDP government ministers personal patterns of investing and divesting of shares of … Crocus … and … Crocus … expenditures in the same period for goods and services provided by individuals and companies related to NDP government ministers’.

While the passage of time and previous reports on the Crocus fiasco have dimmed the general public’s interest in matters related to Crocus, when a senior former bureaucrat comes forth and speaks out, accusing ‘sitting’ politicians of grave misconduct, with no possible personal gain to accrue to the accuser, he should not be ignored.