As the owners of
Shaka Wasaga Boat Cruise
We wanted to take a minute to tell you about how we started running Shaka Wasaga and the issues we have had in launching. Unfortunately, some of you have read some online accusations stating we have stolen boats and are operating illegally.
This is absolutely untrue and although we have spent the last year and a half trying to resolve a business dispute with our lawyers through the justice system, we have had enough of the slander and defamation.
Here is our story
In March of 2021, we saw a post online for a business opportunity. We agreed with Mike Karpishka and Gaby Saucedo the owners of Tiki Tours International, which in the summer of 2021 rebranded into Palapa Tours, to purchase 2 fully constructed boats from them, expanding their brand to Wasaga Beach operating boat tours. We were told that the business model was complete, and it was just some small modifications needing to be figured out. They had a contract for operating with other corporations completed and it was under review with their lawyers.
We agreed to start the venture with them. We asked for the contract or as they called it the Operating Agreement in April when our landlord requested a financial commitment. We were provided with a Notice of Intent and were told the contract would follow during the diligence period. It was not provided, and each time questioned about it, what seemed to be a legitimate reason for not providing one, was told to us and it would be coming shortly.
We were told our boats would be arriving the last week of June so that we could operate for Canada Day weekend. The boats did not come until mid-July and instead of a fully assembled boat, we received 3 pontoon bases and the fixings for each boat to put them together, what we did ourselves.
We also received a rough draft of the Operating Agreement which was nothing to what we had originally agreed upon. We were promised that there would be amendments solely for our operations as they recognized that they changed all the terms to what our operation relationship would be, and the modifications would be attached as a schedule to the agreement. Throughout the summer the relationship between Palapa Tours and our operation became excessively strained as there were many discussions held at the initial stages and agreed upon which had been reneged by Palapa Tours. We tried to continue.
We had constructed the boats ourselves completing the framing and flooring out of pocket, which was supposed to be included in the purchase price trying to be operational in the summer of 2021. After many delays, we had the builder who did the finishing of the bar and roofing arrived in September 2021. Although we were told to pay for rent for 2021, and that we would be operational in 2021, we were not.
The insurance that they initially quoted actually cost us $15,000 more than what Mike had stated. We paid for the year upfront.
The money we have paid out of pocket has never been audited (regardless of countless requests) and never refunded. We have all the bank drafts to show the full payment of the two vessels. We have paid our insurance in full and continue to pay.
After full payment for the two vessels was received, Palapa Tours (aka Tiki Tours International) was still unable to provide a contract. During a conversation with Mike and Gaby in September 2021, they informed us that they already were in the works to have another owner purchase our boats despite the fact that we had overpaid for the boats and that we built the boats. From April 2021 to March 2022, after investing all of our savings into this business and quitting our jobs, we still did not have a contract. We would ask on a weekly basis for an accounting audit and a finished contract so that we could have the amended schedules and contract reviewed by our lawyers. Nothing except excuses was provided.
After 10 months of excuses and delay and the 2022 season just around the corner, we would not enter into the season without a signed and agreed upon contract. In March 2022, we sent a letter via our legal representative informing Mike and Gaby that we would no longer be pursuing an operating relationship with them. Our lawyer attempted to dissolve the relationship legally and encouraged them to obtain counsel for further discussions. They chose not to follow the advice of our lawyer to obtain counsel.
On May 19th, 2022, we were informed by associates of ours that there was a lot of discussion on multiple Facebook pages and accusations that we have stolen the boats belonging to Tiki Tours (aka Palapa Tours). Mike Karpishka and Gaby Saucedo along with one of their colleagues who happens to live in Wasaga created a defamation campaign stating that fines were pending, we stole the boats, we were operating illegally, we would be arrested as well they posted our home address (which they knew from a meeting they attended in person in our living room), as the address where any person would be able to physically find us and dispute the matter. They ordered people to call the police if they saw us in the water, creating a strain on our public service. They contacted our insurance demanding to have our insurance revoked, (even though they claimed we did not have insurance), they called, messaged and harassed our banker to revoke our business loan. They called the Town of Wasaga Beach to remove our business license. They contacted our alcohol suppliers stating we did not have a valid AGCO license, which was a lie and can be verified via the iAGCO website, (although they did contact them to cancel our license). They contact our landlord to have our lease agreement cancelled.
When they mention illegal document from Transport Canada it was in fact, Mike who changed the ownership of 1 of our boats with Transport Canada, without our authorization. It was reverted back by the Chief Registrar, Vessel Registry of Transport Canada after reviewing the document that was submitted by him, as they were not sufficent for the transfer of ownership.
They also submitted a police report stating for no other cause that due to us being ex-military we were violent, and they wanted a restraining order, it was never served. The same day as submitting that report, Mike, Gaby and their associate arrived at our business location. The three of them got out of the car and while their associate was recording on his phone, Mike and Gaby started to scream and yell at us, we went inside the office. We told them to leave multiple times as they threw papers in our face yelling "you have just been served”. As they were not leaving and becoming increasingly verbally aggressive, we called 911 to ask for help, we went into the office where we locked the doors. After reading the paperwork they threw in our face, it was not court paperwork, but the ownership documents which Mike tried to mislead Transport Canada into believing we were not the true owners.
In retrospect, it appears to us that they created a hostile scene to record to get a reaction from us to further their accusations of us being violent to support the restraining order.
At this point, they still had not provided our counsel with any legal representative contact information.
They continued for weeks to engage the public and used phrases such as “I’m just trying to protect the public” as their motivation for their defamation campaign. Their associate who had engaged with questioning people on Facebook informed them that he was taking over the operations of our business. That will never happen.
During the summer of 2022, Mike and Gaby continued to sell tickets under the name of Wasaga Tiki Tours, which is the business name that we purchased in 2021. They used the address which we had a signed lease with as the departing location so that when unsuspected guests who purchased with them arrived for their paid excursion, we had to take the time from our operations to assist them in getting a refund which was difficult at times.
We have had many people accusing us of unethical actions due to the posts that Mike, Gaby and their associates have flooded the Wasaga Beach Facebook pages. We have had people showing up to the location screaming at us due to the dispute being published online.
Last summer was unbelievably difficult trying to operate our business professionally while online opinions were being slurred against us.
We have sent numerous ceases and desist to remove their defamatory statements with zero compliance.
In June of 2022, we served Tiki Tours International, Gaby Saucedo and Mike Karpishka with a Statement of Claim to include the defamation.
In August 2022, we were served with a Notice of an Injunction where Mike and Gaby stated that they would like an emergency hearing for an order to remove our boats from the water. This hearing was tried in October of 2022 and Tiki Tours (Palapa Tours) was unsuccessful in proving any illegal operations or conduct as stated by the Judge. Yet to this day, they have not removed their claims that we are operating illegally.
We sit here now telling our story as a last resort as we truly did not want to discuss this in public and wanted to handle this through the proper legal channels. But there are still accusations posted on the Wasaga Tiki Tour’s website and their Facebook page. We have tried to come to a common agreement via mediation and pre-trial meetings unsuccessfully. We have a trial date set for the end of September, but with their posts still active and their family members continuing to state on social media that we have stolen their boats, as recently as the last 2 weeks, we feel that it is time that people hear the second side to what has happened.
Please understand that this was not done as an invitation to initiate an online or public discussion. We will not be responding to any other comments or retaliations, this was not the route we wanted to take but felt there were no other options to explain our side as others have done.
GP and Amanda true owners
Shaka Wasaga Boat Cruise