7 News Belize

Canton's Contract Vindicated
posted (November 8, 2011)
Chief Executive Officer of the Citrus Products of Belize Henry Canton has been under heavy and sustained fire from the majority shareholders in CPBL for years! Yet, still, he's managed to hold on - even after they took a resolution to fire him!

And tonight even as he remains under attack - almost counter intuitively - his position is stronger than it has been for years. That's because the Supreme Court today upheld the validity of his contract and found that by the terms of his contract, he was guaranteed a post as director. We note that he had been terminated as director.

Like all things having to do with the citrus industry - the case is muddled in complexities and counter-claims - but Canton's points were vindicated today. The first point was that the CPBL had two years to answer to Canton's application, and did not do so, yet this morning their attorneys were still asking for an extension of time.

Those Attorneys Nigel Ebanks and Ashanti Arthurs Martin argued that the Company has no functioning board of directors and so making any decision is difficult if not impossible.

Justice Minette Hafiz wasn't having it, though. She said there has been an undue delay and no good reason for it, so she denied them the extension they were asking for.

Attorney for Canton, Andrew Marshalleck spoke to the media outside the courtroom:

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney "Citrus Products of Belize Limited was supposed to have delivered a defense to Dr. Cantons' claims in October 2009 and they never did and they're seeking to do so now two years later, so we urged upon the courts that there was no good reason for the delay that the default was actually intentional, and that in those circumstances permission to give an extension of time ought to be refuse and that permission was refused."

Jules Vasquez
"Now moving forward, what are you asking for subsequent to that?"

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney
"Well we are asking for a number of declarations based on Dr. Cantons' employment contract, and in particularly we are asking for declaration that is removal as a director of Citrus Products of Belize Limited, was in breach of his contract and unlawful."

Jules Vasquez
"Is your client willing to accept that his actions have thrown the company into disarray?"

Andrew Marshalleck, Attorney
"I don't think he would accept that, but you should ask him. I think his position is that the actions of ICL has thrown the operations of CPBL into disarray, not his actions, not his reactions, their actions."

Justice Hafiz granted Canton's side all declarations and will give her reasons in writing at a later date. As regards the termination of Canton, she found that they can do it, but they need to fulfill the requirements for proper notice contained in the contract.

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