Tag Archives: Peter Pockington

Eyes Wide Shut

Peter Pockington The Globe and Mail has a  long feature on the infamous owner of the Edmonton Oilers, Peter Pockington.  He may be the most disliked man in Alberta’s history and I can’t blame them.  In addition to selling Wayne Gretzky to the L.A. Kings, the Alberta government said he left Alberta taxpayers on the hook for millions.  (which is why he had to sell the Edmonton Oilers)

The fine fabric of Pocklington’s life began unravelling in 1998, when Alberta Treasury Branches, a savings institution owned by the province, forced Pocklington to sell the Oilers, alleging that $100 million in loans to Pocklington had gone awry. The next year, he placed his main holding company, Pocklington Financial Corp., into bankruptcy, clearing the way for creditors to pick away at his crumbling empire. Other holdings that slipped away included a Triple-A baseball team in Edmonton and Canbra Foods Ltd., a margarine company based in Lethbridge. Alberta Treasury Branches seized Canbra and sold it for $64 million. Pocklington was also forced to relinquish his private jet, the Group of Seven paintings and even his $750,000 wine collection.

Despite hearing the stories of people who are suing him now, I don’t really feel sorry for them but it isn’t as if he didn’t have a long history and what happened between him and the Alberta Treasury   What he did was on the public record and yet you have this quote

Kamatari thinks back to how he was influenced by Pocklington’s own "authorized website," which portrays him as civic-minded, serving on the board of directors of the Betty Ford Center, providers of drug and alcohol rehabilitation services. On the site, Pocklington also expresses his admiration for entrepreneurs, proclaiming that "small businesses are what made America great and will continue to make America great." Pocklington wrote that "businesses fail for a number of reasons, including under-capitalization, no vision by the owner/founder, lack of product and not spending 48 hours a day on making it successful. Business is tough! You have to be dedicated."

The article is talking about multi-million dollar deals being done and no one thought to do due diligence on their new partner because he has his own flattering domain name with some quotes on it?  Was there no time to do a Google search or phone someone at the Alberta Treasury Branch?  I am sure some former Alberta politicians would have been comfortable talking as well.  It’s easy to vilify Pockington but the information was out there enough that everyone should have gone in with their eyes wide open and not quite enamored with the country club he lived at.