Opponents question Bill Smith’s business savvy after bailiffs ready to seize assets over unpaid loan – Calgary

Bill Smith’s main rivals are questioning the Calgary mayoral candidate’s business savvy in the wake of a CBC News story that uncovered bailiffs were prepared to seize more than $24,000 in property from Smith’s business earlier this year.

In January, a warrant authorized Consolidated Civil Enforcement, a private company that offers bailiff services, to recover personal property, to “realize the sum of $24,545.60” because the “security agreement” between Smith’s professional corporation and RBC Small Business Loans “is now in default.”

Mayoral candidate Naheed Nenshi says the incident calls into question Smith’s ability to guard taxpayers’ money.

“He said that he was embarrassed. I’d be embarrassed if that happened to me.” said Nenshi.

“One of the interesting things about being mayor is that you really have to work with the big picture and the little picture.

So, you’ve got to know the big numbers. You’ve got to understand the direction of the place. But you also have to really understand the details. You have to read every page of that 1,500 or 2,000 page agenda and make sure that you see everything in there,” said Nenshi.

‘Clerical error’

Smith’s campaign promotes his understanding of business and promises to cut what he calls “out of control spending” by the City of Calgary.

For his part, Smith calls what happened a clerical mistake because he changed addresses and bank accounts. 

“It was an error and I’m a little bit embarrassed about it, to be honest with you,” Smith told CBC News when asked about the debt.

Mayoral candidate Andre Chabot, who ran a small business, says he can’t understand what happened.  

“All my bills were always paid on time,” said Chabot. 

“The bank was looking to increase my credit rating and my loan,” he added.

Smith did not respond to his opponents’ comments. 

History of loan

Smith’s loans dated back to 2006 and the agreement with RBC was amended twice, in 2011 and 2016. A bailiff’s report shown to CBC News reveals that Smith paid the sum owing, in late January, days after Consolidated Civil Enforcement began searching for assets to seize.

“Well, I mean, I would also tell you that people make mistakes and that was an error,” said Smith when asked why voters should trust him with the city’s finances if he struggles to manage his own. 

Smith explained his business address changed and that a bank account was also transferred and wasn’t “linked” to pay back the loan, which he said was for “business.” 

“We moved from Mount Royal Village to Eau Claire, and for some reason the notices went to Mount Royal Village and never got to us in Eau Claire, didn’t get forwarded,” he said. “So I didn’t know we were behind on the payments.”

The report indicates the bailiff showed up at Smith’s former business address, the one indicated on the warrant, but did not find Smith there.

“As soon as I got the notice, as soon as I got it, we paid up. It’s all paid in full,” Smith told CBC News.

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Originally posted 2017-10-11 11:30:00. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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