Former Baffin Fisheries CEO charged with fraud, breach of trust

Garth Reid accused of taking company funds for personal use

Baffin Fisheries’ FV Sivulliq pulls into the harbour at Nuuk, Greenland in July 2020. (Photo courtesy of Baffin Fisheries)

By Sarah Rogers

The former CEO of Baffin Fisheries has been charged with defrauding the Inuit-owned company.

Garth Reid faces charges of fraud over $5,000 and criminal breach of trust, according to documents filed in Newfoundland and Labrador court Jan. 26.

The charges date back to a period between October 2016 and April 2017, when Reid still served as CEO of the company.

Baffin Fisheries is owned by five Inuit hunters and trappers associations in the Baffin region of Nunavut. Those groups jointly filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging Reid and his wife unlawfully spent the company’s funds for their personal use, namely the construction of a “lavish mansion and guest house” in Winterton, on Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula.

In 2019, the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled that Reid must pay back $544,049, plus interest and legal costs, to the company.

Reid, 51, is due back in St. John’s court on March 16 to respond to these latest criminal charges.

Inuit Child First, Indigenous Services Canada

Baffin Fisheries’ corporate office is in Iqaluit, but the company has operations offices in Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet and Paradise, N.L.

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(10) Comments:

  1. Posted by pissed off on

    this is finally coming back on the table.

    I seem to recall that the amount of money was way larger than that.

    In any case this case brings back to the table the very serious lack of oversight on the part of the various Inuit organisations . When the“OWNERSHIP“ is for operations taking place in faraway places, When you “OWN“something but are not working hard on a day to day basis as real ownership means it is easy to be complacent. The owner of a small business that stands by the cash register from morning to night does not run a chance to be defrauded like that.

    That`s real ownership .

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      The total amount was $1.4 million with Baffin Fisheries going after his wife Valerie Reid for $855,983. It would be nice to know if that money will also be repaid.
      At least Board members received additional training after this episode, let’s hope that that has been incorporated into the training for new Board members as well.

  2. Posted by Fisherman on

    Move the head office out of Newfoundland, it should be in Nunavut. Who is really running this company?

  3. Posted by Tim on

    Why aren’t the positions benefitting northerners?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  4. Posted by Uvanga on

    This is how a southern based company takes advantage of a so called Inuit owned business. This fisheries business was initiated by newfoundlanders and is run by Newfoundlander. They say they’re Inuit owned companies but we all know who this benefits more, the southern. Same as Our own Inuit birthright Corp QC. 12 non Inuit administrators in Newfoundland and 1 Token Inuk in the Iqaluit office. I encourage media to look at and compare the Inuit in Nunavut and the newfoundlanders and how they live. 2 very different stories and life styles.. fisherman in Nunavut many homeless and newfoundlaners living the dream with their riches. Newfoundlanders on salary and Inuit on pay as you join. So much inequality in the Inuit owned fisheries. What do the community HTOs that own the fisheries actually get for their communities????

    • Posted by Same old rants on

      Blanket statements about southerners and southern business are simplistic and not analytically useful.

      • Posted by Uncomfortable truth on

        But there’s more than a grain of truth to it.

      • Posted by Uvanga on

        If I’m too simplistic, I encourage you to use your wisdom and go analyze this situation yourself so you can make us understand the reality of this complex fishing industry.

        • Posted by Inuit are Complicit on

          The problem is the wealthy overclass of Inuit who allow these arrangements with southerners for a kick back. They betray their own people. These wealthy Inuit love to distract the lower class of Inuit by blaming greedy southerners when they are entirely complicit with the entire ‘inuit owned’ scam.

          • Posted by Same old rants on

            Blanket statements about Inuit and Inuit business are simplistic and not analytically useful.

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