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Hay River MLA faces wage garnishment, foreclosed properties

The NWT Business and Development Corporation loaned Hay River South MLA Rocky Simpson money for his business. He's defaulted on a loan, and now they are trying to recoup their money.

MLA Rocky Simpson defaulted on business loan, now his creditor is closing in

Hay River MLA Rocky Simpson runs Concept Energy Services, a contracting company. His wages are being garnisheed to collect on a bad loan. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)

The territorial agency in charge of supporting businesses is now garnishing the wages of a regional politician to recoup the costs of supporting his troubled business. 

A summons filed in the Northwest Territories Supreme Court on Nov. 6 calls on the government of the Northwest Territories to withhold a portion of the wages of Hay River MLA Rocky Simpson, forcing him to pay back the NWT Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) after he defaulted on a loan.

Meanwhile, the investment corporation has also announced it will be asking a judge to let it access work trailers on Simpson's properties in the South Slave region.

In a Nov. 8 notice of motion filed with the Northwest Territories Supreme Court, Douglas McNiven, BDIC's lawyer, writes that the corporation needs more information from Simpson and others involved in the business about what the trailers are worth, as the corporation plans to sell them off to "recover the maximum value" on what it is owed. 

That document also says the plaintiff, BDIC, will ask to use the services of the sheriff to seize assets that it's entitled to.

The defendants include Simpson, his wife Bette Lyons, and Simpson's companies, including Concept Energy Services.

A court date is scheduled for Friday.

The BDIC appears to be moving in further on Simpson after actions earlier this fall to recover the money. On Sept. 9, the corporation got a judge's approval to collect nearly $1.9 million from Simpson, his companies, and Lyons (who was the guarantor for his loan).

A few weeks later, Simpson would be elected to represent the riding of Hay River South. He took the seat from MLA Wally Schumann — who had been minister of the department overseeing the investment corporation while it was taking action on Simpson in court.

CBC News attempted to contact Simpson for comment, but did not receive a response before publication. In an October interview with CBC News, Simpson said he was "dealing with it" and that his debts wouldn't impact his work representing the community of Hay River. 

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