The debate surrounding ownership of Watson Island was thrust back into the spotlight this week with the owner of Sun Wave Forest Products calling the settlement agreement with the City of Prince Rupert “null and void”.
A declaration signed by Sun Wave Forest Products owner Ni Ritao, published in the Northern View on Oct. 28, says the agreement entered into by Sophia Liu on behalf of the company on Aug. 20, 2013 was done without his legal authorization.
“The arbitration order made on 25 August 2013 based on the above invalid settlement agreement is also null and void …. I raise serious objection to any conducts engaged based on the above void settlement agreement and related documents that harm our interests and hereby reserve my rights to further pursue liability and prosecution through multiple channels including legal or media,” wrote Ni, who said efforts to undertake face-to-face discussions was unsuccessful.
“On 3 May 2015 I arrived in Canada with utmost sincerity in the hope of properly handling the issues in question through face-to-face communications and negotiation with all parties concerned only to be denied entry into the country. Responsibility for obstacles and challenges in communication and in dealing with the related issues as a result thereof shall rest with Canada and not me.”
However, the City of Prince Rupert says the proper protocols were followed in reaching the deal and that evidence was provided to indicate Liu had the authority to reach the agreements in question.
“Sun Wave’s lawyers provided to the City a General Signing Authority, executed by Mr. Ni, that expressly granted to Ms. Liu full authorization to execute and deliver on behalf of Sun Wave all documents in relation to the settlement agreement and to do such further acts and things that Ms. Liu considered necessary in connection with the settlement. As such, the 2013 Settlement Agreement between Sun Wave Forest Products Limited and the City of Prince Rupert is legally binding,” read a statement from the City, which notes work has been progressing on the site since then.
“For the past two years, both parties have taken steps to implement the 2013 Settlement Agreement, including the filing of the dismissals of all litigation that had been commenced by Sun Wave against the City and the discharge of the certificates of pending litigation that had been filed on title to the Watson Island lands. The City has been working in good faith with Sun Wave’s representatives in Canada to comply with the terms and intent of the Agreement, and intends to continue to do so.”