BY JOHN CHICK
Special to The VOICE
Five months after setting into motion the tailspin of CannTrust, former employee Nick Lalonde has provided the Voice and other media outlets this week with videos he asserts he recorded in an unlicensed growing room of the Fenwick facility. One such clip appears below.
Lalonde says he took the videos last December, showing hundreds of cannabis plants in the factory’s central area.
“Right in the middle of the facility,” he said. “I wouldn’t say the biggest [room] square-footage wise, but the most important.”
It was this room, Lalonde told the Voice in July, that he helped cover up views of with poly wall in order to evade Health Canada’s video inspections of the facility. His later emails to those federal inspectors, after he left CannTrust, are what brought the company to the brink of potential demise — to the tune of revoked growing licences, the firing of its executive team, and the destruction of a staggering $77 million worth of cannabis inventory.
CannTrust’s stock price now hovers around $1.20 per share, down more than five dollars from when before the scandal broke. The company has since laid off some 300 workers, including dozens in Fenwick.
News site Yahoo Finance Canada asserts that a CannTrust spokesperson confirmed that the video was shot on company property.
Asked why he didn’t release the video sooner, Lalonde said that he recently had the phone he recorded it on repaired, and was previously unable to access the files.
The 28-year-old told the Voice he no longer resides in Fenwick, having moved to Hamilton for work opportunities. He said that while most of the reaction he received post-whistleblowing was positive, he encountered some harassment from former CannTrust colleagues in Pelham.
“They’re upset, right,” Lalonde said. “There were a couple of employees there I used to know. I wasn’t going to hide. A lot of people are staying stupid shit like, ‘He wanted fame,’ this and that, whatever. I did the right thing, that’s all I care about and I’m going to move on.”