Pinehouse Business North — Who owns it? Who controls it?

As of July 1, 2012, the business development corporation owned by the Northern Village of Pinehouse was transformed. Pinehouse Business North (PBN), as most locals know it, changed its ownership and control structure. The Village Council (i.e. the community’s elected representatives) can no longer exercise any oversight or control over PBN’s daily business operations, although Village ownership of PBN remains largely unchanged.

According to the founding agreement, a new corporation was established called Pinehouse Business North Limited Partnership in which the the Village becomes a “Limited Partner” and the old Pinehouse Business North Development Inc. becomes the “General Partner.” PBN Limited Partnership becomes the operational corporation, while PBN Development Inc. now serves as largely a shell-corporation whose board controls virtually every aspect of business operations.

In Section 7.2 of the Limited Partnership’s founding agreement, the Village becomes a “limited partner” and is no longer able to participate in the control of the business, nor does it have “the power or authority to bind the Partnership, the General Partners (i.e. PBN Development Inc.), or any other Partner as such.”

Section 8.1 of the same agreement states, “the General Partner will have the exclusive authority to and shall direct, manage and control the Business.” So any notion that Village Council or Village Councillors have the authority to influence PBN operations or question PBN executive decisions is explicitly ruled out.

No financial or detailed operational information about PBN operations has been provided to the citizens of Pinehouse since the Limited Partnership has been formed. Requests for such information have been refused or ignored, despite the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner ruling that he can find no reason why this information should not be publicly accessible. The shutdown in public accountability also directly contravenes the Pinehouse Business Charter, approved by Village Council in 2010.