Imagine Adoption: Gary Goodyear's wife on the payroll - and the company they co-own is on the creditor list.

The Kitchener-Waterloo Record reports on the link between Valerie Goodyear and the ongoing Imagine Adoption/Kids Link International bankruptcy meltdown:

The 16 employees of the bankrupt agency included Valerie Goodyear, wife of federal cabinet minister and Cambridge MP Gary Goodyear.

In a written statement yesterday, Gary Goodyear said his wife helped place children with families and wasn’t involved with the agency’s finances. He also said he has never been involved with its operations. […]

In an agency newsletter last year, Valerie Goodyear was described as co-ordinator of its African adoption programs.

A profile said she had been to Ethiopia three times and was one of the agency’s first employees.

In the same newsletter, photographs showed Gary Goodyear and other local politicians alongside Susan Hayhow at a ribbon-cutting to mark the agency’s move to new offices.

He is also quoted in a story accompanying the photos.

“This is a wonderful group of people,” Gary Goodyear reportedly said. “I want to congratulate Sue (Hayhow) and her team on the most excellent work and incredible progress.

The agency newsletter can be found on the Imagine Adoption website.

The Record reports that bankruptcy officials are “trying to determine why the agency was renting three properties in Cambridge with payment obligations of $13,000 a month,” and notes that only one of the three — “the location at 780 King Street East … was used for agency offices.”

ITQ checked the public registry for MPs, and found a disclosure summary for Gary Goodyear, filed earlier this year. In it, he states that he and his wife are co-owners of Constant Energy Ltd. — the same “private real estate holding firm” listed as the landlord of one of those three properties.

According to the Statement of Affairs released earlier this week by BDO Dunwoody, the agency was paying $3,000 a month to Constant Energy for property at 382 Queen Street West in Cambridge. BDO lists Constant Energy’s total outstanding claim at $96,000, which works out to 32 months rent, and it is the first entry on the list of “preferred creditors for wages/rent/etc.” The Queen St. W property is currently occupied by the Hespeler Community Chiropractic Centre.

BDO estimates that the total claims held by unsecured creditors — the 400 families who have “active files” with the agency — to be at least $800,000, but warns that that number is a “conservative” estimate, since it’s still not clear how much is owed to each family. The first meeting of creditors is scheduled for the end of the month.

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