STELLARTON, N.S. — The parent of Sobeys is reporting lower adjusted earnings and revenue for its third quarter, but managed to recover from a huge loss reported a year earlier as it wrote down the value of its western business.Empire Co. Ltd. (TSX:EMP.A) had $30.5 million of net income for the 13 weeks ended Feb. 4.That compared with a loss of $1.37 billion reported a year earlier, mostly due to a writedown of the Safeway chain after years of underperformance since it was acquired by Sobeys.After adjustments that exclude the writedowns, however, Empire’s earnings fell by 58.1 per cent to $34.6 million.How Sobeys screwed up Safeway in a messy takeover that left empty shelves, massive losses, and drove customers awayEmpire’s revenue fell by $137.4 million to $5.89 billion, mostly from the Sobeys grocery business.Net income was equal to 11 cents per share and adjusted earnings amounted to 13 cents per share.It’s the first quarterly report issued by Empire since it hired former Canadian Tire executive Michael Medline to be its president and chief executive officer in January.
Just days after the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) filed charges against the Ministers of Finance, Winston Jordan, Infrastructure, David Patterson and Public Service, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine accusing them of “misconduct in public office” in relation to the controversial Durban Park Project, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has discontinued them.Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil WilliamsAttorney General, Basil Williams was the first to announce that the charges were discontinued on Thursday.The DPP in a subsequent statement said that the charges were discontinued under “Article 187 (1) ( c) of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”The most recent discontinuation of charges comes after the DPP had done the same with the private charges brought against former and current Public Health Ministers, Dr George Norton and Volda Lawrence for the same offence, with regards to the rental of a house in Sussex Street, Albouystown, Georgetown for a monthly fee of $12M to store drugs and the sole sourcing of drugs and pharmaceuticals for the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation from private company, Ansa McAl Trading Limited in the amount of $605M respectively. Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali HackSimilar to the reasons proffered for the discontinuation of the first set of private charges, the DPP posited, for the three Government Ministers, that “These charges concern a grave issue under the criminal law in relation to two serving Ministers. In the interest of good governance in the State of Guyana such allegations ought first to have been reported to the Guyana Police Force for an investigation to be launched and the advice of the DPP sought.”Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has since expressed his Party’s intention to challenge the DPP’s decision to discontinue private charges filed against Ministers Lawrence and Norton.Nandlall had argued that DPP’s reasons cannot withstand objective legal scrutiny, outlining that they are “dubious at least. One, that a report was not made to the police station. The DPP was careful not to point which law requires such a report to be made because there’s no such law,” he posited. On Wednesday Williams said that Government will be moving to formally request a review of the private criminal charges recently brought against the three senior Ministers.Former Attorney General Anil NandlallOn Monday last, Nandlall in outlining the now discontinued charges against the three Ministers stated that Patterson and Jordan are being accused of “paying to Private Limited Liability company, Homestretch Development Inc (HDI), the sum of $906M, being public funds, without any resort to the procurement process as is required by law.”Further, in the other charge placed against Minister of Public Service, Roopnaraine, it is alleged that “while being a Minister, [he] acted as Director of the Private Limited Liability Company, Homestretch Development Inc (HDI) and accepted $906M of public funds without any resort to the procurement process which is prescribed by law.”Works on the controversial $1.4B project, which was shrouded in secrecy, started in 2015.Last year, Auditor General of Guyana, Deodat Sharma told media operatives that the missing financial records for the Durban Park project was prolonging a special audit which had been launched among concerns of corruption and mismanagement of the State’s resources.At the time, the Auditor General had said that there were no documentations of the transactions regarding the Durban Park Project, prior to it being handed over to the Ministry of Public Infrastructure.Today, while providing a comment on the charges, Roopnaraine said that he finds the charge of “misconduct in public office” laid against him by Opposition Members to be “frivolous.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGov’t making formal request for review of private charges against 3 Ministers- WilliamsApril 25, 2018In “Court”Charges against Lawrence, Norton discontinued by the DPPApril 23, 2018In “Court”PPP intends to challenge DPP in High Court over discontinued chargesApril 24, 2018In “Court”