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Kirkland Lake's 'Northern News' Trying To Erase Mayoral Candidate Todd Morgan's Past?

Updated on August 25, 2018
Stephen Sinclair profile image

Stephen Sinclair is a Canadian freelance writer who has been publishing professionally for several years.

Former Armistice Resources CEO and Kirkland Lake Mayoral Candidate Todd Morgan

Kirkland Lake councilor and mayoral candidate Todd Morgan
Kirkland Lake councilor and mayoral candidate Todd Morgan | Source

'Mine Tied To Stock Fraud'

After bottoming near US$250 in the late nineties, the price of gold roared to a high of $1,889.70 during the summer of 2011. The price has since pulled back and been quoted between $1,000 and $1,400 over the past four years.

As the yellow metal's historic bull run unfolded, operators in the Kirkland Lake, Ontario area began hatching plans. One such operator, current Kirkland Lake councilor and mayoral candidate Todd Morgan, was hired as CEO of Armistice Resources Corporation, which planned on reviving the Kerr-Addison mine that the Toronto Star described as being "tied to stock fraud."

Among other claims, Morgan told Northern Ontario Business in 2011, that Armistice would be hiring 100 employees. No such hiring appears to have occurred.

The Star article, written in 2010, reported Morgan's view that the mine would "soon be in production." Later, in 2012, the Northern News reported Mr. Morgan's production estimates: 25,000 and 40,000 ounces of gold for that year and 2013, respectively. If readers are puzzled by the lack of an article at the provided link, they are not alone.

Thankfully, internet users have access to Archive.org's repository of disappeared websites and articles, as well as Google's cached pages. Archive.org's record of the original article can be viewed here.

Given that Todd Morgan unceremoniously resigned in October 2013, as reported by Cision, after apparently producing no "significant" revenue, and Armistice changed its name to Kerr Mines Incorporated (TSX: KER), the activity of the company, as far as the Northern News is concerned, soon dropped from seeming existence.

According to Kerr's May 14, 2018 interim financial statements, "To date, the Company has not earned significant revenue as all properties are pre-production," as hosted with SEDAR. Near the end of Morgan's tenure, in November 2012, Armistice's financial statements, in contradiction with Morgan, claimed the company was still "in the exploration and evaluation stage," as hosted with SEDAR.

Now that Morgan is running for mayor in Kirkland Lake, as reported by the Northern News, wouldn't his days with Armistice, not to mention his statements, seem relevant? Isn't the disappearance of such an important article from the publication's website somewhat suspect?

Perhaps sadly, an inventory of available articles concerning Armistice Resources during the former CEO's tenure on the Postmedia Northern News site has uncovered an unmistakeable trend.

Larder Lake, Ontario

The Kerr-Addison mine site is located about 30 km east of Kirkland Lake, Ontario near Larder Lake.
The Kerr-Addison mine site is located about 30 km east of Kirkland Lake, Ontario near Larder Lake. | Source

Disappearing 'Northern News' Articles Featuring Todd Morgan and Armistice Resources

The following is a summary of Northern News articles missing from its website featuring Todd Morgan's days with Armistice:

Article:$2.2 million sought by Armistice; by Rick Owen; August 3, 2009

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2009/08/03/22-million-sought-by-armistice

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:HTqkJ2Za3aAJ:www.northernnews.ca/2009/08/03/22-million-sought-by-armistice+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

Article: Bear Lake Gold subject of class action law suit; author unknown; August 9, 2009

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2009/08/28/bear-lake-gold-subject-of-class-action-law-suit

Archive.org and Google cache: unavailable

Article: Armistice signs deal to acquire former Kerr Mine; by Rick Owen; December 27, 2010

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2905666&

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:3umMefXoFl8J:www.northernnews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx%3Fe%3D2905666%26+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

Article: Armistice on target to start production; by Rick Owen; August 3, 2011

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2011/08/03/armistice-on-target-to-start-production

Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20180629025002/http://www.northernnews.ca/2011/08/03/armistice-on-target-to-start-production

Article: Hoisting under way at Armistice's McGarry Mine; by Rick Owen; January 9, 2012

Northen News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/01/09/hoisting-under-way-at-armistices-mcgarry-mine

Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20180628195724/http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/01/09/hoisting-under-way-at-armistices-mcgarry-mine

Article: Armistice hits high grade; by Rick Owen; January 27, 2012

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3451213

Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:TTx9-ORiYL8J:www.northernnews.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx%3Fe%3D3451213+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=ca

Article: Armistice targets April start of production; by Rick Owen; March 21, 2012

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/03/21/armistice-targets-april-start-of-production

Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20180628172143/http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/03/21/armistice-targets-april-start-of-production

Article: Armistice Resources completes acquisition of Barber Larder property; no author; November 15, 2012

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/11/15/armistice-resources-completes-acquisition-of-barber-larder-property

Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20180628084009/http://www.northernnews.ca/2012/11/15/armistice-resources-completes-acquisition-of-barber-larder-property

Article: Armistice Resources changes top management; no author; October 3, 2013

Northern News: http://www.northernnews.ca/2013/10/03/armistice-resources-changes-top-management

Archive.org: https://web.archive.org/web/20180628024936/http://www.northernnews.ca/2013/10/03/armistice-resources-changes-top-management

Screenshots of the Google cache archives are presented at the end of the article, as they may not be permanent. Archive.org's records will likely live on indefinitely. The above inventory of missing articles has been pieced together from available data and may not be complete.

Articles Featuring Armistice/Kerr That Remain On The 'Northern News' Website

Armistice completes key infrastructure work; by Joe O'Grady; December 16, 2012

2012 a year of 'highs' for KL: Mayor; by Andrew Hopkins; December 26, 2012

Mining continues to drive KL economy; by Andrew Hopkins; January 1, 2013

Armistice working on production stope development; by Rick Owen; April 22, 2013

KL Gold hosts mine tour for Aboriginal women; author unknown; April 29, 2013

Small fire breaks out at Armistice; author unknown; May 8, 2013

Kerr divests interest in McGarry properties; by Brad Sherratt; August 20, 2018

Todd Morgan: Silent On Armistice

Over past years, this writer has written to Mr. Morgan and asked for an explanation of what happened with Armistice and received no reply. When the Northern News announced his mayoral candidacy, this writer posed the question in the comment section of the former newspaper's new website, and received no reply. Similar questions presented to Rick Owen have also been ignored.

Of note is the timing of the disappearance of these articles and a reorganization at Postmedia, the parent company of the Northern News, as reported by the CBC. The move resulted in the discontinuation of the printed newspaper and a shift to an all-digital format. Are readers to believe that such glaring omissions concerning a mayoral candidate were a simple error? Is there some other explanation?

Also of note is writer Rick Owen's January-2017 retirement from the Northern News (the article covering this has also disappeared, but lives on with Archive.org) and that he, too, is running for Kirkland Lake political office: as a hopeful member of the town council.

A third prominent name connected with Armistice is billionaire Eric Sprott, whose Sprott Resource Lending Partnership agreed to provide up to "$11 million in financing to drive output and fund future exploration of nearby property."

Many questions swirl: Was Armistice all one big scam? Why did Todd Morgan step down as CEO? Did Rick Owen, the Northern News, Postmedia, or anyone else receive payments to publish seemingly bogus news reports in an effort to entice and defraud investors? How could the Northern News publish this article on August 20, 2018, in the weeks leading up to the town's municipal elections, and not mention Todd Morgan's involvement? What in the name of God's green acres has gone on in Kirkland Lake with Todd Morgan, Rick Owen, Armistice/Kerr, the Northern News and Eric Sprott?

Since late 2007, stock in Kerr Mines (formerly Armistice Resources) has lost 98.43 percent of its value.

Kerr/Armistice Stock Down 98.43 Percent

Chart showing losses incurred by investors in Kerr Mines/Armistice Resources stock
Chart showing losses incurred by investors in Kerr Mines/Armistice Resources stock | Source

$2.2 million sought by Armistice; by Rick Owen; August 3, 2009

Source

Armistice signs deal to acquire former Kerr Mine; by Rick Owen; December 27, 2010; Part 1

Source

Armistice signs deal to acquire former Kerr Mine; by Rick Owen; December 27, 2010; Part 2

Source

Armistice hits high grade; by Rick Owen; January 27, 2012; Part 1

Source

Armistice hits high grade; by Rick Owen; January 27, 2012; Part 2

Source

© 2018 Stephen Sinclair

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