The TeX' Files (Texada Land/Manulife Project)

(Contents of this data resource are compiled from official documents and materials available on the public record; where applicable, contact information is provided to enable any interested party to confirm materials or follow-up and add to this resource or their own knowledge base. The TeX' Files page, still under construction, may be periodically updated and filled in -- as time and life permit.)

The Game

On April 12, 1999, a numbered company, 4255 Investments Ltd., was incorporated listing as its directors, Robert J. MacDonald and Derek M. Trethewey (a pair of entrepreneurs operating out of an 11th Floor office at 938 Howe Street in Vancouver Telephone 604-331-6018/Fax 604-331-6048). On September 17, 1999, the name of 4255 Investments was changed to Texada Land Corporation.

Although it has been publicly represented that Derek Trethewey and Rob MacDonald are the owners of Texada Land Corporation, Texada has only a single shareholder -- MacDonald Development Corporation. In turn, MacDonald Development is owned by Rob and Susan MacDonald.

On November 1, 1999 -- in a real estate deal financed through The Manufacturer's Life Insurance Company of 200 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Canada -- Texada acquired some 4,816 hectares (11,900 acres) on Vancouver Island (near Horne Lake) and Salt Spring Island, B.C. for an undisclosed price. (Published news reports have pegged the amount at anywhere between CDN $20 and $50 million -- so far, neither Manufacturer's Life nor Texada reps have informed the public as to the actual sale/purchase price. Nor have any terms of this deal been revealed by the entities involved.) On Salt Spring, the land mass measures roughly 2008 hectares (almost 5000 acres) -- amounting to more than 10 percent of the island's total land base.

The vendor of the lands was Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis (fax 011-49-941-5048-111), widow of a German prince believed to have been one of that country's wealthiest men during his lifetime. Prince Johannes von Thurn und Taxis, who passed on a decade ago, had held the now-controversial lands since 1962 through a private B.C. company, Texada Logging Ltd. Texada Logging still appears as a secured party in the current Texada/Manulife deal. Islanders are now exploring the actual terms of the deal which has resulted in MacDonald, Trethewey et al becoming players with impact on the land and people.

Following this transaction, Texada principal Robert MacDonald told The Vancouver Sun: "[On Saltspring] we're hoping to enhance the value of the land, trying to enhance agricultural use. It's perfect soil for vineyards. We brought in an environmental forester to help ensure we preserve and enhance our land values. Being green is good business. We're trying to become environmentally conscious." The Vancouver Sun reported that MacDonald was looking to donate 202 hectares (500 acres) of the Salt Spring lands to the Canadian federal government for use as parkland. And, he claimed, "We're discussing with (well-known Vancouver developer and philanthropist) Peter Wall his coming in as a partner."

In an interview on November 1, Derek Trethewey told The Gulf Islands Driftwood that he had no immediate proposals for most of the land but confirmed "plans to clear an 11-hectare (27.2-acre) lot east of Fulford-Ganges Road and at the bottom of Lees Hill (near the Burgoyne Bay turnoff) for a vineyard." On November 9, Texada's Operations Manager Brent Kapler told the Driftwood that Trethewey and MacDonald "were not funded by other corporate entities" in their purchase of the island lands.

Since these claims were first made by Texada principals, there's been no mention of Peter Wall, there's been no 500 acre donation of land to the feds, and it's been learned that Manulife has funded the Trethewey and MacDonald team (a $30 million first mortgage is held by Princess Gloria's private entity). The Trethewey/MacDonald "plans" for logging and development on Salt Spring have grown increasingly controversial. The only identifiable fruit being cultivated in Texada's "vineyard" is the grapes of wrath.

The Money

Onn January 20, 1998 The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company began moving toward a conversion from a mutual life insurance company to a shareholder-owned, publicly traded, company through a process known as "demutualization." On September 24, 1999 shares in the company, now renamed Manulife Financial Corporation, began trading simultaneously in North America on The Toronto Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Montreal Exchange under the ticker symbol MFC.

Richard Coles is the company's Executive Vice-President, Investments and, as such, is responsible for Manulife's Investment Portfolio that includes Real Estate and Canada & U.S. Mortgages, NAL Resources and Manulife Capital. William Eeuwes is the Investment Management Services contact for Manulife Capital (Canada). You can email Bill Eeuwes or contact him by telephone at (416)926-5455 or fax (416)926-5737. William A. Farlinger is a Director of Manulife with, reportedly, a positive association to Salt Spring Island and is Chairman of OntarioPower Generation Inc. OntarioPower has a toll-free number: 1-877-592-2555.

Manulife, which prides itself on "contributing to communities", is sponsoring a Literary Arts Festival in Victoria, B.C. this May 18-21. As well, Manulife's President and Chief Executive Officer, Dominic D'Alessandro, will be in Vancouver, B.C. from July 9 - 12, 2000 as host of the International Insurance Society's convention.

The Players

(To begin compiling a due diligence file, a search of corporate and personal property registries, and civil court filings, in B.C. is standard procedure. This can be an attenuated process. There are numerous such filings that concern Texada-related parties and which date to the early 1990s or prior. Initially, The TeX' Files will focus on more recent, or current, filings that appear relevant to gaining an understanding of the business or financial practices, and professional character and integrity, of the players active today on Vancouver and Salt Spring islands. For example, as of early 2000, creditors were pursuing Derek Trethewey in the Supreme Court of British Columbia for debts that were incurred during the mid-1990s and which remain unpaid today. If other, earlier, filings are or special signficance or interest, they may also be reviewed.)

Derek Trethewey

-- Texada "owner" (but not legally-registered shareholder), signatory to TeX' "Code of Principles"; and "Ranch Proprietor" at Stump Lake, Kamloops, B.C. (a previous Trethewey/MacDonald venture)

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C983574

PLAINTIFF: Desert Palace, Inc., doing business as Caesar's Palace; DEFENDANT: Derek Trethewey

CASE DISPOSITION: Default Judgement against Defendant Trethewey

By way of a Default Judgement on November 18, 1998, Derek Trethewey was found to be indebted in the amount of CDN $71,030.55 to Caesar's Palace casino in Las Vegas for unpaid gambling debts. On April 20, 1999 legal counsel for Caesar's Palace casino obtained a Garnishing Order After Judgement, in the Supreme Court of B.C., in the amount of CDN $73,005.89 (being the earlier amount specified plus costs and post-judgement interest.)

Seeking to obtain repayment of the gambling debt, Caesar's Palace counsel garnisheed the bank account of Derek Trethewey/Huntington Investments Corp. (a private vehicle of Trethewey's) at the Royal Bank of Canada, New Westminster Business Banking Division. On April 26, 1999, Wendy Gehiere, Manager of Business Services at the Royal Bank, notified The Law Courts that "there is no money available in the account at this time."

As at February 11, 2000 (the time this article and others appeared on the public record) Derek Trethewey had still not paid his debt to Caesar's Palace, and the casino's counsel was still looking for assets via which their client could receive payment under the Default Judgement earlier obtained in the Supreme Court of B.C.

Although Derek Trethewey has been represented to be an owner of Texada Land Corporation, he is not a legally registered shareholder of the company. Consequently, it is not possible for Caesar's Palace or others to attach judgements for debt to the Texada vehicle. In June 1999 Trethewey was examined in connection with his outstanding gambling debt, and swore under oath that he had no significant assets, but, instead, had significant debts well in excess of any assets.

Following publicity of Trethewey's failure to pay Caesar's Palace, in March 2000 he made a cash settlement with the casino.

Canadian counsel for Caesar's Palace is James Goulden of Bull, Housser, and Tupper in Vancouver, B.C.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C971555

PLAINTIFFS: Leo Moore and Patricia Murray ; DEFENDANT: Derek Trethewey

CASE DISPOSITION: Judgement Against the Defendent Trethewey

Brief description of this case -- involving loans, yet another gambling debt of Derek Trethewey (this time to Harrah's Casino in Vegas), payments to H.C. Investments, interests in Carrington Estates etc. -- follows:

On March 13, 2000, a California couple, Leo Moore and Patricia Murray, were awarded judgement of CDN $101,754.87 against Trethewey. The Plaintiffs were also awarded costs on a Scale of 3.

In delivering her judgement in the Moore, Murray v. Trethewey case, The Honourable Madam Justice J. R. Dillion noted that Derek Trethewey's sworn testimony directly contradicted the written agreement he held with the Plaintiffs, and that a "self-serving document without factual or documentary support" was manufactured and "obviously back-dated" in an effort to support his defense.

The court found that the defendent Trethewey failed to provide Moore and Murray with financial documentation, and "In particular, the defendant did not allow the plaintiffs to share in the profits and at first denied that there were any profits."

At one point, Trethewey's testimony concerning discrepancies between the legal written agreement and his version of events, is summarized by the Honourable Madam Justice thusly: "Here, the defendant says that there was a mistake in the original loan agreement and in subsequent agreements, all drafted by himself. He cannot explain how his lawyer could have made such a mistake or how he could not have noticed it for six years, except to say that he was not paying attention."

The full Supreme Court of B.C. Judgement in this case is available online. @

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C975829

PLAINTIFF: Catre Industries Ltd. ; DEFENDANTS: Martin Chambers, Moro Trading Corp., Tryggronia Industries Ltd., and Tryggronia Investments Inc. DEFENDANTS BY COUNTERCLAIM: Derek Trethewey and E. Alan Trethewey


Brief description to follow.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. tba

PETITIONER: Derek Trethewey; RESPONDENTS: Barry Speton and Charles Lee


Brief description of this case, involving Trethewey, Speton and Lee, fellow shareholders in 320920 B.C., to follow.

Regan Trethewey AKA Richard Regan Trethewey

-- Texada consultant, signatory to TeX' "Code of Principles"

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C964054

PLAINTIFF: Canadian Maple Leaf Financial Corporation; DEFENDANTS: Regan Trethewey, Gerry Olma, K. David Stevenson, Corozal Timber Co. Ltd., Chamberlain Holdings (Barbados) Ltd., Sandford Timber Trading (Barbados) Ltd., Shipstern Holding Co. Ltd.; DEFENDANTS BY COUNTERCLAIM: Steven Funk, Martin Chambers, Black Tusk Investments, Euro Bank (Cayman Islands) et al


Brief description of this case, involving investor immigrant funds, a proposed logging operation in Belize, and very large financial losses, to follow. On January 10, 1997 Deloitte & Touche Inc., Trustees in Bankruptcy, was appointed Receiver of Black Tusk Investments Ltd. - a private entity listing as its directors, Regan Trethewey and K. David Stevenson.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C955980

PLAINTIFF: No. 232 Sail View Ventures Ltd. and Gerry Olma DEFENDANTS: Regan Trethewey, Mystral Forest Products Ltd., K. David Stevenson and K.D. Stevenson Enterprises Ltd.


Brief description to follow.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C952150

PLAINTIFF: Catre Industries Ltd. ; DEFENDANT: Regan Trethewey, Mystral Forest Products, Black Tusk Investments, Gerry Olma, K. David Stevenson


Brief description to follow.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. A951385

PLAINTIFFS: No. 232 Sail View Enterprises Ltd.; DEFENDANTS: Regan Trethewey, Black Tusk Investments Ltd., Mystral Forest Products Ltd., K. David Stevenson and K.D. Stevenson Enterprises Ltd.


Brief description to follow

Jerry Bordian

-- Texada overall project manager

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C985121

PLAINTIFF: Vancouver City Savings Credit Union; DEFENDANT: Jerry Bordian

CASE DISPOSITION: Default Judgement against Defendant Bordian in the amount of CDN $35,942.80 plus interest and costs to be assessed entered in the Supreme Court of B.C. on October 29, 1998.

Brief description to follow.

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. H981071

PETITIONER: Vancouver City Savings Credit Union; RESPONDENTS: Jerry Bordian and 26 Holdings Ltd.


Foreclosure description to follow.

Robert J. MacDonald

-- Texada owner, signatory to TeX' "Code of Principles"

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C945519

PLAINTIFF: Arbutus Garden Homes Ltd.; DEFENDANTS: Robert J. MacDonald et al

CASE DISPOSITION: All parties agreed to a Consent Order dismissing the Action on May 23, 1997.

Brief description of case and public controversy to follow.

In the words of the Honourable Mr. Justice Parrett: "This was a $43,750,000 real estate transaction whose structure and documentation was more in keeping with the disposition of a neighbourhood kiosk, than that of a major commercial enterprise."

Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Action No. C980001

PLAINTIFF: Karen Bennett-O'Brien; DEFENDANTS: MacDonald Development Corporation, Village Green Inns Ltd., and Hy's of Canada Ltd.


Brief description to follow.

Research Sources -- Follow-Up Reading

Government of B.C.: Corporate and Personal Property Registry -- Second Floor, 940 Blanshard Street, Victoria, B.C. -- examine who's behind numbered companies and other corporate entities

The Supreme Court of British Columbia, Civil Registry -- 800 Smithe Street, Vancouver, B.C. and other B.C. Supreme Court Registries -- where to carry out fundamental research into the corporate etc. character of different individuals and entities

Canada Stockwatch database -- tracks many entrepreneurial types, on and off Howe Street

Manulife Financial contact info -- find out who's who at Manulife

The Vancouver Sun -- the major daily newspaper serving Canada's third largest city

Business In Vancouver -- well-read in Vancouver's financial and real estate corridor

The Vancouver Courier --

The Gulf Islands Driftwood -- read the current news or search the "DriftNet" archives for past articles containing "Texada", "Manulife", etc.

The Barnacle Island Journal -- Salt Spring Island weekly, articles available only in hard copy