Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 05/8/2014 3:05 PM | Comments: 0
Last Modified: 05/8/2014 8:17 PM | Updates
A gas bar at the centre of a contentious legal battle got the green light in court Thursday to reopen under the same management that was evicted in a showdown with a local First Nation chief a week ago.
A Court of Queen's Bench judge ordered Roseau River to leave a gas station the First Nation took over last week and allow management back in.
The Anishinabe First Nation evicted the investors who run the Red Sun Gas Bar and Smoke Shop on Highway 6 near the Perimeter, only to find themselves in court this week when the investors sought an injunction against the eviction and brought the matter to court.
The judge had barely made her ruling, when a lawyer for the First Nation immediately appealed it, asking the judge to stay her order.
Court of Queen's Bench Judge Sadie Bond decided not to stay her ruling and band leaders who led the eviction announced their intention to launch an appeal to overturn it. That paperwork is expected to be filed with the Court of Appeal within days.
Ultimately, fate of Red Sun, and the battle over who owns the millions of dollars in tobacco rebates and gas sales it brings in, remains up in the air.
In the meantime, David Doer, who sought the injunction with his partner Kathy Nelson, must wait until morning for the court paperwork from the ruling before they can move forward. He said he expected to make a public comment Friday.
Larry Penner, whose company Penner Oil supplies the gas and owns the pumps and tanks at the gas bar was absent from the proceedings, but his lawyer announced in court Thursday that his client intended to dig his tanks out of the ground and remove his pumps if the injunction wasn't granted.
Together Doer and Penner have sunk $3 million into building the business and their lawyers argued they've operated under a 20-year lease since they opened nearly seven years ago.
Roseau River Chief Ken Henry said the First Nation will honour the injunction.
"I'm obviously not above the law. They will be allowed back and hopefully we will get some co-operation," Henry said.
Henry and his council allege most revenue from the gas bar and smoke shop are accruing to Doer and to Kathy Nelson, the daughter of former chief Terry Nelson, now Southern grand chief. Henry said neither hold a proper lease on the land.The band says that revenue — millions of dollars in cigarette rebates and gas sales — properly belongs to Roseau River First Nation.
In her ruling, Judge Bond reviewed two days of complex arguments but framed her decision on the more narrow merits over whether the management of the gas bar operated under a lease agreement.
She found they did. "For a number of years, all the parties operated on the premise the lease is valid. In my view, we are dealing with a situation where the parties (the managers) will suffer a permanent loss... they will lose business if the (band eviction) is allowed to continue," the judge said.
Updated on Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM CDT: Adds video.
5:52 PM: Writethru.
8:17 PM: Corrects Sadie Bond's title.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Manitoba starts uh-0 and 2
'The dialogue has started' on missing women
Republicans' fast-shifting presidential horserace
Portrait of Queen will be home again soon
Nemtsov a possible 'sacrificial victim,' investigators say
Brier in Calgary has a freshmen feel
We failed on ER fixes, WRHA says
Crowdfunding nets $20,000 for woman in hijab dispute
Better plane tracking trialed after Malaysia plane mystery
Hellebuyck, IceCaps blank Sharks 2-0
Blackhawks acquire Antoine Vermette from Coyotes
Ice cream parlour? Bike shop? Submit your ideas for Esplanade Riel
Next stop? Broadway... in Crystal City
Heat say Bosh has been released from hospital
B.C. polygamous leader seeks to quash charge
Jagr makes Florida debut in Panthers' win over Sabres
Vince Li secures increased freedoms
Your weekend weather
Milder, but still cold
Madonna's comedy plans
Jets' Wheeler ready to go back to work against Kings
Police seek help in finding 15-year-old girl
No more overnight parking ban on snow routes
Kingsbury wins sixth straight World Cup event
Fighting the evil within: The case for and against the Anti-Terrorism Act
Carruthers? Win? Yeah, right
First 2015 flood forecast a mixed bag
Hundreds attend funeral for Elijah Marsh
Murder mystery slays new series competition
Province forecasting year-end deficit to grow by $37M to $394M
Oh, brother: The MacIvers will do almost anything on their crazy car commercials
Commission tackles issue of service dogs
Free Press, Brandon Sun photographers nominated for national awards
Flood risk normal or above normal in western Manitoba
Key of Bart - A Criminal Mind
Troubled hockey star fought his demons in the alley, but he beats them onstage
Vet reviews now only every three years
Leonard Nimoy, famous as Mr. Spock on 'Star Trek,' dies
Quebec hijab decision sparks widespread criticism
Unregistered massage therapist to give Manitoba courses, regulator says