Close to a month has passed since ILTA Grain Inc. was granted creditor protection by British Columbia’s Supreme Court, due to its financial difficulties. This left many producers frustrated as some still had contracts with the company. In fact, the Canadian Grain Commission (CGC) has heard from more than 200 producers since the creditor protection was announced on July 8, 2019.
Today, the CGC announced it has created a special escrow account where money will be put into the account in relation to grain deliveries for which no cheques have been issued.
“One of the key conditions of reinstating ILTA Grain Inc.’s licences is that ILTA is not allowed to purchase grain from producers. At the Canadian Grain Commission, we take producer protection seriously,” says Patti Miller, chief commissioner and deputy dead of the CGC.
“We have taken several steps to protect the rights of producers who have delivered to ILTA Grain Inc. including visits by our auditors and inspectors to obtain information and documentation, starting the claims process, and negotiating an escrow agreement.”
Funds will be held by PricewaterhouseCoopers, the court-appointed monitor, until it has been determined how the funds will be distributed.
To be eligible for a claim made under the Safeguards for Grain Farmers Program, a producer must:
- Deliver to a licensed grain company;
- Deliver one of the twenty grains regulated by the Canada Grain Act;
- Present the proper documents (a primary elevator receipt, a grain receipt, a cash purchase ticket or cheque);
- Demand payment during eligibility periods; and,
- Report non-payment to the Canadian Grain Commission.
According to a news release, due to the negotiation of the escrow agreement, the CGC reinstated ILTA Grain Inc.’s grain dealer and primary elevator licences effective August 7, 2019, with the condition that ILTA Grain Inc. cannot purchase grain from, receive grain from, or otherwise incur liabilities to grain producers. ILTA Grain Inc. may sell, remove or otherwise transfer grain or grain products held or stored at its facilities.
Producers who have yet to contact the commission, and delivered to ILTA Grain Inc. before July 11, 2019, with no receipt of payment, are being urged to do so immediately.
Over the past month, the commission has visited the company’s head offices and facilities and is currently completing its final audit to establish the number and amount of eligible claims.