Rival golf course owner uncovered Mountain View land buy-back deal
Jeff Luehmann says he was tipped off by government employee
News of a land deal between the Yukon government and the Mountain View Golf Club was uncovered by the owner of another Whitehorse golf course.
Jeff Luehmann, who owns Meadow Lakes Golf and Country Club, says he was tipped off by a government employee about the land deal and that's when he started searching for a paper trail.
He says it took him more than a year and $1,000 of his own money to get the paperwork on the land buy-back between the Yukon government and Mountain View Golf Club.
The deal was finalized in 2011 for $750,000.
"I didn't even know anything about it, this land transaction, until a government employee brought it forward to me," he says.
That is exactly why the government should have whistleblower legislation, he says. Leuhmann also says the government needs to be more open and accountable.
"It's pretty hard to compete in the private sector, never mind having to compete with government," he says.
"When government steps in and starts manipulating one side of the private sector, I don't think it's fair. We have to earn every dollar we make out here the hard way and I certainly don't get any assistance from any government agency."
Luehmann shared the ATIPP documents with the NDP. It asked questions of the government in the legislature Wednesday.
Community Services Minister Brad Cathers maintains, "the land in question was required to install a perimeter trail and a storm water management system for the Whistle Bend subdivision, in Whitehorse."
In the legislature Thursday, Cathers said that upon asking officials and reviewing documents, "it also appears that the intent of the agreement signed by assistant deputy ministers of two departments, along with the golf course, was also intended to assist Mountain View Golf Course with their mortgage."
He said the government has assisted a number of non-government organizations with financial challenges.