People ask me what I do for a living,” says Doug Mason. “I don’t know. People call me a promoter, a financier, a businessman. I’m an entrepreneur.”
Mason, a stocky 60-year-old, earned both fame and infamy in B.C. in the ’90s when Clearly Canadian Beverage Corp., the hometown alt-beverage champion he founded and led, took shareholders for a few gut-wrenching falls in the market. He left the company in 2005, the year after he reached a settlement with the B.C. Securities Commission over insider-trading allegations – a settlement that included a quarter-million-dollar fine and trading restrictions.
Mason was all over the media in the heady days of Clearly Canadian’s rise and fall. But this, he says, is his first interview in years.
So why now? Well, to promote one of his companies, of course. This time it’s Columbia Yukon Explorations Inc., a junior miner with a property near Cassiar. Mason and his partners acquired it in 2006 and have since drilled the plot to confirm the molybdenum they say it’s hiding.
He leaves the geology to the experts, he says, and he seems thrilled about what they’ve been telling him. He’s equally animated about growing his pizza-franchise business in the U.S. and his real-estate plays in Whistler and the Lower Mainland.
Mason admits his contretemps with the market regulators did put a bit of a damper on his business ventures, although he maintains it was merely an “administrative disagreement.” But he’s back, he declares, doing what he does best: “My job is to sell."