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FITX Postmortem: Bill Chaaban Just Doesn't Get It


Demonstrating that he didn't understand that you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar, FITX's Chaaban chose to attack Health Canada.

May 21, 2015: Earlier today, attorney Trina Fraser, who according to her Twitter profile is a "business lawyer and advisor to MMPR industry participants & investors", made CEN Biotech's February 25, 2015 letter to Health Canada available for public viewing. We gather from an earlier tweet by Ms. Fraser that she obtained the letter from among the documents filed by CEN Biotech in support of its request for Judicial Review of the HC decision to deny CEN Biotech a license to grow medical marijuana.

   » Related: FITX Postmortem: Bill Chaaban Digs Himself Deeper

The letter was supposed to have been signed by CEN Biotech's President and CEO, Bill Chaaban, who at one time was CEO of CEN Biotech's parent company Creative Edge Nutrition (FITX), but there are no actual written signatures. It is also (not) signed by CEN Biotech representative, Roger Glasel.

   » Related: FITX's Bill Chaaban Loses Count

Apparently Chaaban, ever ready to hit HC's fist with his face, decided to continue the losing gambit of attacking his nemesis rather than trying to appease it. The letter clearly shows that Bill is delusional about his and CEN Biotech's now certain fate and is little more than an exercise in finger pointing in every direction but his own. Certainly accusing Health Canada of "harassment" or "intentional delay" isn't going to ingratiate the ministry to Bill.

   » Related: Bill Chaaban's Pants Are On Fire

The attack begins from the opening paragraph in which HC is chastised for providing an "invalid" email address. In the next paragraph, Chaaban makes a veiled accusation that HC is acting in cahoots with the media.  This is not exactly a way to win friends.  Although it seems that HC had been first alerted to some of Chabaan's wrongdoings through some investigative journalism, it would be foolhardy to believe that it denied Chaaban a license simply because the Globe and Mail said it should.

   » Related: FITX is Finished

The letter addresses Roger Glasel's previous claim of a relationship with Health Minister Rona Ambrose, now explained as citizen involvement in Ms. Ambrose constituency office. This is a far cry from Glasel's early trumpeting which suggested that the relationship made obtaining a license a fait accompli.

Just as laughable is the explanation for Glasel's admitted use of the phony name "Isak Weber" when making representations on behalf of CEN Biotech. The suggestion that the company and individuals were under attack and that the phony name provided some measure of protection is disingenuous as demonstrated by the lack of any explanation of how a figment of Glasel's imagination could possibly offer such protection. Besides, if one is truly in danger then the police or other authorities are there to investigate. A public company is not entitled to invent an official when it is dealing with other people's money (i.e. shareholders) or attempting to deal with a government. This is not transparency.

   » Related: The Canadian Government Calls FITX Liars

The letter goes on for 31 pages, assigning blame for the now-well documented missteps of CEN Biotech and Chaaban/Glasel and not accepting any responsibility for its own fate. The letter shows that the writers are clearly out-of-touch with Health Canada's concerns: the ministry and the Judicial Review panel could give a flying fudge about a perceived "short and distort campaign", FITX's share price, the welfare of shareholders, or "bashing" by the media.

What HC and the Judicial Review panel will care about is the frequent misrepresentations made by Chaaban and company at the expense of the shareholders and to the benefit of Chaaban who has his pockets well lined with FITX cash,  None is more demonstrative than his February 19, 2015 press release in which the company was "pleased to announce" that HC was requesting more information, when in fact Chaaban had just been rejected for security clearance and CEN Biotech was informed of HC's intent to deny a license.  It is a press release that has gone unexplained or retracted to this day.

Chaaban's better tactic might have been to offer a mea culpa and express regret for his missteps. He could have asked Health Canada what he could do to appease them in an attempt to kiss and make up. We wonder why his attorneys wouldn't have suggested that strategy rather than the fruitless attack on a bureaucracy. If it his true that his concern is for the shareholders and patients as he claims, Bill could have even offered to resign, perhaps return his stock and have the Board appoint someone to the helm who could pass security clearance.  Ah, but then Bill would lose his cash cow and he isn't giving that up without a fight.