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Hinton Wildcats court file adjourned until August

Masha Scheele

The Wildcats court application seeking a reinstatement of their lease with the Town of Hinton has been adjourned by the Court of Queen’s Bench until Aug. 7, when the file will be presented to a Judge.

According to filed documents obtained by The Hinton Voice from the Court of Queens Bench of Alberta and The Town of Hinton, the original application filed on June 3 by the Wildcats and Western Provinces Hockey Association (WPHA) stated that the Town of Hinton did not follow the process laid out within the original lease from June 27, 2018 to legally terminate it.

The Town of Hinton filed an affidavit in response to the application on June 27, 2019 which stated that a new agreement made between the two parties on Jan. 10 allowed the lease to be terminated.

Section 11 of the original lease stated that the landlord was obligated to notify the WPHA in writing if the Wildcats became more that sixty days delinquent in payments owing. 

However, according to the documentation included in the affidavit, the mutual agreement on Jan. 10 contains a revised section 11, stating that neither the WPHA or the overarching Western States Hockey League (WSHL) would be notified of delinquent accounts and instead a 90 day timeframe for payment remaining would be in effect.

The Town of Hinton notified the WPHA on April 1 that their lease agreement was terminated due to delinquent accounts in excess of 90 days. 

According to a letter from Heather Waye, Hinton’s parks, recreation and culture manager, which was included in the affidavit, the Wildcats never submitted a pre-season ice request to secure ice times and had a total overdue balance of $10,570.87 as of April 15.

The new agreement was the result of a meeting between the two parties after the WPHA took over ownership of the Wildcats without properly notifying the Town of Hinton, according to the affidavit.

The original lease was signed by Mr. Axel Axmann, who was the owner of the Wildcats at that time; the town stated that they learned in late 2018 that ownership of the Wildcats had been transferred to the WPHA without proper notice.

Requirements of section 23 of the original lease state that the transfer of a controlling interest in the ownership would be considered an assignment of the agreement, and that an assignment required 30 days notice to the Town, stated the affidavit.

The town stated concern about this lack of notice, along with the failure by the Wildcats to make timely payments of the amounts required under the original lease. 

In a letter from Derek Prue on Dec. 20, included in the court documents, he stated that there had been no ownership change, but there had been a change in shareholders.

As a result of not receiving clear information on ownership of the wildcats, the town sent a letter to Ron White, commissioner of the WSHL and copied to Derek Prue of the WPHA on Dec. 20, 2018, regarding a change in who would receive notice of delinquent accounts. 

According to the document, the town believed the WPHA held ownership interest directly in the Wildcats, and suggested notice should be sent to WSHL instead.

The affidavit included an emailed response by Prue to that request indicating his displeasure at the involvement of the WSHL.

After back and forth correspondence between Prue and the town, the town hosted a meeting on Jan. 10, 2019 where Prue again expressed his desire to keep the WHSL out of the discussions.

Prue requested the WPHA remain as the party to be notified of delinquent accounts, this was denied by the town because given the WPHA’s apparent ownership interest, the town could not accept the WPHA to impartially and effectively oversee any payment issues between the parties.

As a result, it was mutually agreed that the clause stating either the WPHA or WSHL be notified of delinquent accounts be removed, and replaced with a 90 day timeframe for payment remaining.