Halifax Billionaire Taken to Small Claims Court Over Damage to ’94 Toyota Celica

FILE - John Risley, president and CEO of Clearwater Fine Foods Inc., fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Friday, Feb. 15, 2002.

Halifax billionaire John Risley, one of Canada’s richest people and a leading philanthropist, represented himself in small claims court over a $3,000 claim from a tradesman – and mostly lost.

Risley, the co-founder of Clearwater Fine Foods, with business interests worldwide, was sued by Ralph Gordon Spares, a contractor doing renovations on Risley’s home in a posh neighborhood in south-end Halifax.

Spares sued Risley for damage to his 1994 Toyota Celica, after a piece of wood from an outdoor garden structure fell on it in June 2017.

“The claimant takes pride in this vehicle,” small claims adjudicator Eric Slone said of Spares in a written decision released Wednesday.
“He has not yet had it repaired because he cannot afford the $2,965.62 cost that has been estimated. He continues to drive the car but wants to have it fixed and seeks to hold the defendant responsible.”
Risley is ranked 88th among Canada’s richest people, according to Canadian Business magazine. In September 2016, he gave $25 million to Halifax’s Ocean Frontier Institute.
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Halifax billionaire taken to small claims court over damage to ’94 Toyota Celica

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