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'Very grateful': Court unfreezes Gen7 Fuel bank accounts

Indigenous gas station chain had bank accounts frozen as part of insolvency proceedings for former fuel supplier, resulting in company being unable to pay for fuel deliveries
Gen 7 Fuel in Batchewana First Nation.

The bank accounts of Gen7 Fuel and its chain of Indigenous retail gas and convenience stores have been unfrozen following a recent court decision. 

Earlier this year, KPMG — the court-appointed monitor overseeing the insolvency of Gen7 Fuel’s former fuel supplier, Original Traders Energy (OTE) — froze bank accounts belonging to both the company and its Indigenous-run gas stations across Ontario, which the monitor was authorized to do through the ongoing insolvency proceedings. 

Gen7 Fuel has always contended that it should be exempt from a court order freezing all worldwide assets of Gen7 Fuel founder Glenn Page, who was also the target of a multi-million dollar lawsuit launched by OTE co-founders Miles and Scott Hill in 2022. 

The lawsuit alleged that Page — along with his wife, Mandy Cox, and a number of Page's business associates — misappropriated millions of dollars from OTE to build the Gen7 Fuel brand while financing a luxurious lifestyle of private jets, exotic vacations and a $4-million yacht originally named ‘Cuz We Can.’

None of the allegations have been proven in court. In an affidavit filed as part of the insolvency proceedings, Page denies all the allegations against him, calling them "unfair and untrue." 

The non-Indigenous businessman responsible for founding the Gen7 Fuel brand is also being investigated by the Economic Crimes and Corruption Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police over a matter of missing computer data, as previously reported by SooToday

OTE was granted protection from creditors in January 2023 through the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), a federal law that allows insolvent corporations with debts exceeding $5 million to restructure their business and financial affairs.

Court documents from CCAA proceedings revealed that OTE owes more than $310 million in unpaid fuel and excise taxes to the Ministry of Finance and Canada Revenue Agency, in addition to more than $40 million owing to a lengthy list of creditors. 

The freezing of Gen7 Fuel bank accounts earlier this year resulted in the company being unable to pay for fuel deliveries to its gas stations, the company said in a media release issued Wednesday, adding that the damage to its reputation and ability to operate placed a “significant burden on our company, our retail partners and employees."  

"We are very grateful to our fuel suppliers who extended additional credit during this process," said Gen7 Fuel President and majority owner Mat Macleod. "Without their support, we would have had to temporarily cease operations."

Gen7 Fuel has five Indigenous-owned gas stations in across Ontario, including Aamjiwnaang First Nation (Sarnia), Bkejwanong First Nation (Walpole Island), Nipissing First Nation (North Bay), Batchewana First Nation (Sault Ste Marie), and Couchiching First Nation (Fort Frances).

The company recently announced plans for a site in Penticton, British Columbia, that is scheduled to open by the end of May. 

“With the false association with OTE's insolvency process resolved, Gen7 is now focused on expanding its operations to western Canada and other First Nations sites in Ontario,” said the release. 

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday in Sault Ste. Marie
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