The Saskatoon judge appoints an accounting firm to maintain the books of Lighthouse, an assisted living facility

The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. has been plagued by internal fighting, months of litigation, and mass layoffs and resignations.  (Yasmine Ghana/CBC - photo credit)

The Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. has been plagued by internal fighting, months of litigation, and mass layoffs and resignations. (Yasmine Ghana/CBC – photo credit)

Accounting firm MNP is taking over the operations of Lighthouse Supported Living Inc. in Saskatoon and will examine its books to determine how the organization got into its current financial distress.

This means the downtown building will remain open and will house more than 100 low-income tenants. But its long-term future remains uncertain.

Allisen Rothery, Justice of the Court of King’s Bench, accepted a joint proposal to appoint MNP on Friday. The ruling ends a turbulent month for the ailing facility, which has been plagued by internal fighting, a long legal battle and mass layoffs and resignations.

Two board members, Jerome Hepfner and Twila Reddekopp, petitioned earlier this month for the court to appoint MNP as a receiver with limited powers and set a timeframe for filing a report.

The three remaining members — Don Windels, Lisa McCallum, and Adeel Salman — initially rejected the request but later changed their minds.

“I think today’s settlement is proof that we came together to agree on something,” Salman said in court on Friday. “Both sides understood that the company, the people – we have to put them first.”

The order gives MNP authority to market three Lighthouse properties in North Battleford, including accommodation and two homes.

Attorney Travis Kusch, representing Hepfner and Reddekopp, said MNP “will not have the authority to … [the properties]pending further court approval, just list and market them and receive and solicit offers.”

Travis Reddaway/CBC

Travis Reddaway/CBC

Salman said this is the best way forward.

“By selling some assets, we can take care of some of the debt and support cash flow,” he said.

During a court hearing last week, Wayne Pederson, an attorney speaking on behalf of Affinity Credit Union, said the lighthouse owed the credit union $2.3 million. The nonprofit also has a line of credit with Affinity.

Pederson said last week the Lighthouse still had $43,000 on its line of credit — not enough to pay its next paycheck.

“My hope is that the goal with the court order is to uncover what went wrong and where,” Salman said Friday.

“Once we identify that, I think we as a board could proceed with the governance actions that we were looking forward to at the first meeting.”

It’s been a tough two years for an organization that has dedicated more than two decades to helping the city’s vulnerable. Salman said he’s watched it transition from a range of addiction, alcohol, mental health and shelter services to today, where it primarily offers supported living.

In 2021, a report by Judge David Gerecke ordered then-CEO Don Windels to be removed for questionable financial dealings.

MNP is expected to present its report to the court in April.


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