Worrying signs that my old compadre Fried Kemper-Trudeau (Franks passim, ad nauseam) may be reverting to his sketchy ways of yesteryear.
Time was, the fastest-working man in real estate was dodging burned investors, the revenooers and countless other creditors around town.
During the seventies, Kemper’s father, John, had built his real estate business into the second largest Century 21 in Eastern Ontario. But when ski bum Fried inherited the firm, the wheels started to fall off almost immediately. Most ruinous were two failed developments: a Mont Tremblant condo project and a New Edinburgh old age home.
Fried finally hit the wall in the nineties, with a $4M bankruptcy, the suspension of his real estate license and a protracted on-and-off breakup with an increasingly fed-up Maggie Trudeau (they finally solemnized their divorce in 2010).
All in the past, bien sûr, and it pains me to even bring up these troubled times. Indeed, so successful was Fried’s second act with Century 21 Goldleaf Realty that he is now in virtual retirement, whiling away the days in semi-exertion at the Ottawa Athletic Club, trolling online dating sites and amusingly passing himself off as the eminence grisly behind Prime Minister Baublehead.
As step-pater to Prince Justin, he rates himself a sort of a latter-day Joe Kennedy, the surviving patriarch of Canada’s most famous political dynasty. (The last time we chatted a couple of years back, he allowed that Margaret’s boy was “not the brightest light in the room.” But, he puffed, we’ll surround him with smart, capable people, and he’d be fine. And so it came to pass.)
It was with a queasy sense of deja vu, however, that I noticed a lawsuit issued against one Friedhelm (!) J. Kemper land at the Ottawa courthouse last month.
The aggrieved party: Gordon Food Service Canada Ltd., a food wholesaler seeking repayment of “invoices too numerous to list within this claim” from Le Chien Noir, a Gatineau beanery, which until recently was ensconced in the eminently affordable Ramada Plaza, near the casino.
According to the statement of claim, between last Oct. 19 and Jan. 31, Le Chien Noir ran up a tab with Gordon Food Services totalling $48,945.46, and has since declined numerous proffered opportunities to cough up. Le Chien Noir, alas, is no more, replaced at the Ramada by the new, remodelled Bistro75.
And so it falls to Gordon’s barrister and solicitor, Charles B. Holder (Holder Law Firm) to recover the dosh from the restaurant’s numbered company, 9579419 Canada Inc., and our Fried, who, as its sole officer and director, “voluntarily executed a written personal Indemnity Agreement/Guarantee on February 8, 2016 in support of the credit application by Le Chien Noir whereby Kemper personally and unconditionally guaranteed payment to the Plaintiff of all amounts due and owing from time to time and thereafter by Le Chien Noir to the Plaintiff.”
On top of the $50K grocery bill, Gordon Food Service is claiming a bracing 1.5 per cent monthly interest (18 per annum) on the outstanding balance.