Editor's Note: APEGGA Council requires that The PEGG publish
Discipline Committee decisions. Following are the details
of a committee decision of July 28, 2003, involving the above.
In accordance with the provision in the Engineering, Geological
and Geophysical Professions Act, APEGGA’s Investigative
Committee suspended Mr. Harper’s registration as
a professional geologist in June 2002, pending a decision
of the Discipline Committee.
On March 3, 2003, the Discipline Committee received a referral
for the discipline hearing from the Investigative Committee.
After attempting to obtain the availability of all necessary
parties, a hearing date of June 16, 2003, was set.
On April 22, 2003, the Discipline Committee issued a formal
notice of hearing and served copies on Mr. Harper and on
the Investigative Committee, Mr. Harper being served by process
server on April 23, 2003. At the same time, the Discipline
Committee, according to its standard process for disclosure
of documents, requested that the parties provide, to the
panel and to each other, copies of documents on which they
intended to rely at the hearing.
On May 13, 2003, the Discipline Committee received documents
from the Investigative Committee. No documents were received
from Mr. Harper. All submissions were provided to the panel
on June 9, 2003.
The hearing was held before the panel at the Association’s
offices in Calgary on June 16, 2003. Barry Massing, Investigative
Committee Counsel, represented the Investigative Counsel.
Mr. Harper did not appear, nor was he represented.
THE CHARGES (ALLEGATIONS)
As noted in the notice of hearing and corrected by Mr. Massing
at the hearing, the matters to be decided, as brought by
the Investigative Committee before the panel, are:
1. That between Jan. 3, 1997, and May 6, 1997, being a person
in a special relationship with Golden Rule Resources Ltd.,
Glen Harper sold securities, being 424,702 shares of Golden
Rule Resources Ltd., for the sum of $4,042,469.50, with knowledge
of material fact that had not been generally disclosed, such
facts being Glen Harper’s receipt and deliberate withholding
of unfavourable sample results.
2. That Glen Harper’s conduct in the foregoing respect
constitutes unprofessional conduct in that:
a. It is detrimental to the best interests of the public,
b. It harms or tends to harm the standing of the profession
c. It is in breach of APEGGA Code of Ethics, including Rule
of Conduct #10.
3. That Glen Harper failed or neglected to respond to a
Notice to Produce Documents served on him March 12, 2002,
in compliance with Section 49 of the Engineering, Geological
and Geophysical Professional Act, as well as Bylaw 32.1,
thereby constituting unprofessional conduct.
FINDINGS AND REASONS
The hearing was opened at 9 a.m., at the time stated in
the notice, and then adjourned in case Mr. Harper or his
representative was late. After some 25 minutes, the hearing
proceeded without Mr. Harper being present.
Mr. Massing presented to the hearing two judgments from
the Ontario Court of Justice (dated July 21 and Sept. 18,
2000) and one judgment from the Ontario Superior Court of
Justice (released Jan. 7, 2002). The first two decisions
found Mr. Harper guilty of insider trading, sentenced him
to prison and imposed a fine. The Superior Court dismissed
Mr. Harper’s appeal, but reduced the length of the
prison sentence and reduced the amount of the fine.
At the request of Mr. Massing, the panel accepted the Ontario
court of decisions as statement of facts as related to the
Charge 1 as presented by the Investigative Committee.
With respect to the specific charges raised in the notice
of hearing, the panel, on the basis of the Ontario court
decisions, finds that Mr. Harper did sell securities with
knowledge of material fact that had not been generally disclosed,
that that indeed Mr. Harper had deliberately withheld. Mr.
Harper was the founder of Golden Rule Resources Ltd. (“Golden
Rule”), and the president and a director of the company.
Golden Rule had a gold prospect on Ghana, and prior to January
1997, the company had released assay results from soil samples
showing a high level of gold (one gram/ton). On Jan. 2 or
3, 1997, Mr. Harper received the assay results for approximately
800 more soil samples. These new samples had low levels of
gold. Mr. Harper did not release the results of these assays
to the public, but he did release the results of the positive
assays received at the same time. In March 1997, Mr. Harper
received the results for an additional 37 samples, and these
showed low gold levels. Again, he did not release these results.
During the period Jan. 3 to May 6, 1997, he sold 424,704
Shares of Golden Rule stock for the sum of $4,042,469.50.
The panel considers this a very serious offence that impacted
on public investors and was clearly detrimental to the best
interest of the public.
Mr. Harper holds degrees in geology and economics, has some
30 years of related experience, and was described in a Golden
Rule proxy management circular as a “self employed
professional geologist.” As such, the panel finds that
his conduct in this matter is harmful to the profession.
It also finds that such conduct is in breach of the APEGGA
Code of Ethics in that Mr. Harper failed to have any regard
for, or to act fairly towards, the investing public.
As noted, Mr. Harper did not respond to a notice to produce
documents as served on him by the Investigative Committee.
Indeed, he did not participate in any part of the APEGGA
process and appeared to ignore it totally. This is particularly
disturbing to the panel.
APEGGA is an association of professional. One of the important
hallmarks of a profession is self-governance. APEGGA is empowered
by legislation to discipline its members. It does so through
a process that was developed and is conducted by the membership.
This “self-governance” is both a privilege and
an important responsibility that the Association and the
members of the Discipline Committee take seriously. The discipline
process developed and used by the APEGGA members assumes
that the broad membership, including those being investigated,
also take seriously the responsibilities of a self-disciplining
professional organization. To do otherwise could place at
risk the privilege of self-governance given to the Association.
Given that Mr. Harper did not attend the hearing nor participated
in the process, the Panel decided to hear representations
with respect to sanctions that might be imposed if the panel
were to find that Mr. Harper was guilty of unprofessional
conduct. Mr. Massing made such representations on behalf
of the Investigative Committee.
Having regard for its findings as set out above and Mr.
Massing’s representations, the panel orders as follows:
1. That Mr. Harper’s registration be cancelled.
2. That Mr. Harper pay to the Association the full costs
of the hearing in the amount of $3,612.94.
3. That this decision be published in The PEGG and that copies
of the decision be sent to the major Calgary, Edmonton and
Toronto newspapers, and to the Toronto Stock Exchange, the
Toronto Venture Exchange, the Alberta Securities Commission
and the Ontario Securities Commission.
DISCIPLINE: Paul Bains, P.Eng., and Bains Engineering
Corp. .... VIEW