A new lawsuit is accusing the Liard First Nation of owing more than $300,000 in unpaid wages.
The suit was filed on Jan. 12 with the Yukon Supreme Court. It alleges a total of $328,231 unpaid from 29 invoices dated between December 2019 and October 2021. Liard Basin Environmental Services (LBES) Inc. is named a plaintiff in the suit.
The statement of claim states that between April 2019 and March 2020 the First Nation hired LBES to assist a contractor working on Liard First Nation homes and property.
It states that verbal agreements were made that LBES would perform the requested work, invoice the First Nation and be paid within 30 days.
More than half of the total unpaid funds that LBES claims in the lawsuit, $169,310, are listed as management fees. The lawsuit states that this total includes the costs of travel and accommodations for subcontractors hired to assist with the work as well as a fee for the delivery of materials.
Other invoiced labour included work on oil tanks, including obtaining necessary permits, removing old tanks and installing new ones. A total of 14 1,200-litre oil tanks were involved in the project and LBES says the two unpaid invoices for the work total $29,178.
LBES also claims they went unpaid for the construction of a skating rink totalling about $10,000 and for renovation work on various homes totalling $69,447. The company says they also invoiced miscellaneous tasks including snow removal, repairing a water plant leak among installing water tanks and pumping others for an invoiced total of $14,341.
There’s also an invoice for $17,383 of materials purchased at a hardware store that LBES maintains the First Nation put on their account and acknowledged responsibility to pay for but never did.
The balance LBES claims are made up of fees for shipping container rentals and project coordination.
“In breach of the Verbal Agreements, LFN has refused or neglected to pay $328,231.92 being the balance owing for the work done and materials supplied at LFN’s request,” the company’s legal claim reads.
The company is seeking a court order that Liard First Nation pay the sum they say they are owed or what the court determines they are owed at trial. They also want pre- and post-judgment interest and their legal costs covered.
Liard First Nation had not filed a defence in the lawsuit as of Jan. 25 and did not respond to a request for comment by the News’ deadline.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org