The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) is now facing the question of whether it withheld some bad news last summer from the residents of New Brunswick.
It was discovered last week that the ALC knew that something was wrong about its New Brunswick investment and PEI money involving the GeoSweep game, which did not turn out to be a success. The company, however, chose not to make this public.
The ALC launched GeoSweep in 2012 and spent nearly $2 million in promoting it. Since the game never attracted the public’s attention, the ALC had to withdraw it after one year. Since the ALC had invested around $9 million in the game, half of which came from the taxpayers of New Brunswick, the withdrawal of the game created a problem.
The ALC released its financial report just when preparations were on for the elections. The report held no news about the failed game. Brent Scrimshaw and Patrick Daigle, both ALC executives, assured the public that the investment was safe. Although the ALC learned that the investment had declined in value, it did not mention it in the financial report.
Now, David Coon, the leader of the New Brunswick Green Party, has demanded an explanation from the ALC. He said: “That’s why we have a Public Accounts Committee or Crown Corporations Committee in this case to ask those questions. To find out what’s going on, why they made those decisions, and get to the bottom of it and if necessary to bring the auditor general in to really drill down into it.”
Since GeoSweep was a politically sensitive issue, news of the investment having lost value could have become a hot election debate.
Meanwhile, the ALC has still not spoken about the state of its GeoSweep investment or about its losses of last year.