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Lawsuit against KGHM Ajax filed by former project manager dropped

Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
January 17, 2017 - 1:08 PM

KAMLOOPS - A lawsuit against the company heading the proposed Ajax Mine project in Kamloops by the former project manager appears to have been resolved.

Court documents from November 2016 show the proceedings against KGHM have been dismissed with consent from lawyer David Hughes, representing former project manager Clyde Gillespie, and counsel for KGHM Donovan Plomp.

"This court orders that the within proceedings be dismissed against the Defendant without costs to any party," an order states. "This dismissal shall be for all purposes of the same force and effect as if judgment dismissing the action had been pronounced after a trial of the action on its merits."

Gillespie was hired as the project manager for the proposed Ajax mine in May 2014 and was terminated by KGHM in May 2016. Court documents show Gillespie was suing on the grounds of wrongful dismissal and he claimed he was virtually stuck in Canada unable to work, due to his permanent residency application.

Gillespie was originally from the United States, but he and his family made the move to Kamloops after he was hired on by KGHM. He claims in the lawsuit that KGHM provided him with $114,000 for relocation costs.

“KGHM Ajax strongly encouraged Mr. Gillespie to purchase a home in Kamloops,” the suit claims. “At the time that Mr. Gillespie was hired, public opposition to the Ajax Project was significant.”

In May of last year, days before his termination, Gillespie was asked by the company to fire eight employees, the lawsuit says. He was dismissed on May 27.

At the time of Gillespie's termination, he was not yet a permanent resident of Canada. He claims his third and final contract with the company included providing Gillespie and his family with an immigration lawyer.

Shortly after his termination, the lawsuit claims, the immigration lawyer provided to Gillespie informed him she could no longer represent him. That was contrary to his contract, Gillespie says.

He did have a work permit which expired and claims he was bound by KGHM until his permanent residency was finalized.

“In the period between the expiration of his work permit and the finalization of his permanent residency, Mr. Gillespie was uniquely vulnerable to KGHM Ajax’s exercise of discretion,” the document claimed.

It's not clear why the suit was dropped. Gillespie's lawyer did not provide a comment before publication deadline. According to Gillespie's Facebook page, he's now working in South America for a company called Guyana Goldfields.

According to the company's website, "Guyana Goldfields Inc. is a Canadian-based Company, focused on the exploration, development and operation of gold deposits in Guyana, South America."


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