By Chad Ingram
Published Feb. 1 2018
Just more than a week after its parent company entered compulsory liquidation in the U.K. Carillion Canada was granted creditor protection last week although the company insists that should not impact operations.
“Carillion Canada Inc. Carillion Canada Holdings Inc. and Carillion Canada Finance Corp. (collectively the “Canadian Carillion applicants”) have been granted an order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act” reads a press release from the company which continues to be responsible for the maintenance of provincial highways 35 and 118 in Haliburton County.
“Among other things the initial order provides for a stay of proceedings in favour of the Canadian Carillion applicants and certain domestic subsidiaries for an initial one month period subject to extension thereafter as the court deems appropriate. The Canadian Carillion applicants’ decision to obtain creditor protection under the CCAA was precipitated by the liquidation commenced in the United Kingdom on Jan. 15 2018 by the Canadian Carillion applicants’ ultimate parent company Carillion PLC and certain of its affiliates which gave rise to unexpected liquidity challenges for the Canadian operations.
“The CCAA filing is not a bankruptcy or liquidation filing. It is expected to be business-as-usual for all Canadian Carillion applicants as they continue to operate under the protection of the initial order. The Canadian Carillion applicants do not anticipate any disruption to the various services they provide and do not expect that this protective filing will impact the public in any way. Public safety remains our top priority be it in the maintenance and cleaning of hospitals the clearing of roads or any of our other activities. The Canadian Carillion applicants intend to use the protection afforded to them by the Initial Order to stabilize their operations and address their short and long term liquidity challenges while they explore the available options.”
The provincial government had already cancelled its contract with Carillion for the Huntsville district which includes most of Haliburton County. That 12-year contract was brought to an end after five years of residents complaining about unsafe winter highway conditions.
A new contract with Muskoka’s Fowler Construction is scheduled to commence Sept. 1.
Carillion was to continue maintaining the highways in the meantime.
The Ontario Ministry of Transportation continues to assure residents that it will ensure the highways are safe for driving.
“Carillion Canada advised the Ministry of Transportation that they are seeking creditor protection to allow them time to reorganize their business here in Canada” read an email the paper received from ministry communications staff. “The Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) is a normal part of the financial stability process. The goal of both parties remains the same – to ensure that Ontario’s roads are well maintained and remain safe for all travelers. Carillion Canada has assured us that they intend to continue to provide highway maintenance services uninterrupted for the remainder of the winter so our path forward remains the same.
Winter highway maintenance is a vital service in Ontario and we will continue to work closely with Carillion Canada in the coming weeks and months.”