Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

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Scooter
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:50 pm

I have some info now which could be VERY helpful to Batlang planters ...

I received an email today, reprinted with permission, text as follows:
Do you know about the Wage Earner Protection Program (“WEPP”)?

I have just sent a letter to Jean Crowder outlining what the employees may be able to do to get their money.

This is the text of the letter…

Jean Crowder, MP
101 – 126 Ingram Street
Duncan BC
V9L 1P1

Re: Batlang Contracting Ltd

I am a Trustee in Bankruptcy in Alberta. I saw you interviewed on CTV in connection with Batlang and employees who were not getting paid as the result of CRA’s actions.

One piece of legislation that was not mentioned in the television article was the Wage Earner Protection Program (“WEPP”) recently invoked (largely at the urging of the NDP). This was a large and material omission on the part of CTV since this may be a way the employees can be paid. The employees need to get together and persuade a Trustee in Bankruptcy in BC to act as Trustee and then the WEPP swings in. It seemed to me that nobody knew this. There is lots of information on WEPP on the net. The irony of the situation is that if WEPP is invoked, the Federal Government will be paying out on one hand what CRA took with the other!

Can you ensure the employees get this information? There might be some political kudos too. If I can help further, please let me know.

Yours sincerely,

BROMWICH & SMITH INC.

Per:
David M. Bromwich FCA (UK)
Chartered Insolvency and Restructuring Professional

I wrote back the following:
I see a problem. One of the planters noticed this already. Here's a post on my message board from September 17:

"As of the last few days, it looks like there is no recourse for Batlang planters to recover their earnings. Some of us have lost upwards of five thousand dollars. I think the collective figure is upwards of $150 000. Brian is declaring personal bankruptcy -- if he had declared corporate bankruptcy planters would be eligible for compensation underWEPP, but in this case we get nothing at all."

It seems to me that I recall someone else mentioning this, and saying that Brian doesn't actually have the funds to go ahead and declare bankruptcy, because of estimated costs of $20,000, although I am not sure where I heard that. Mind you, for $150,000 in wages, you'd think that the planters could even chip in the $20,000. I'm sure that they would be incensed at the very suggestion, but if it was me, and I could get that whole $150,000 back for paying $20,000, I'd be thinking about that pretty quickly.

David's response:
Yes, the employees (or at least a few of them - maybe the ones who were owed the most) need to gang together to put up about $3,000 to petition (force) the company into bankruptcy. You have to do this because it looks like Brian won’t bother or can’t afford to fund the Trustee. The $3,000 will fund a bankruptcy trustee in BC who will agree to be the Trustee of Batlang Contracting Ltd. The Trustee has a few statutory duties like notifying the creditors and holding a First Meeting of Creditors. BUT he doesn’t HAVE to do anything else unless he’s funded – and he won’t be. So there he stops! Now, the employees can ALL claim under WEPP.

Whether the owner (Brian?) goes personally bankrupt is absolutely irrelevant. It’s the corporation that has to go bankrupt because IT had the employees.

The Trustee will do the absolute minimum and then stop. He’s allowed to do that. I know some trustees in BC and can talk to one of them if you can help the guys get the seed money together. They will have to work out how to get it back from everybody. WEPP takes about 6 weeks. There’s lots about WEPP on the net.

Yes, you can send this letter to anyone you like.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more guidance!

David

So if even about fifteen of the affected planters are willing to chip in a couple hundred dollars each to get the ball rolling, this might be a solution.

If someone in a leadership role who was affected by this situation can talk to people, and see if there is any interest, you can then email me and I'll give you David's contact info.

- Scooter

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mwainwright
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by mwainwright » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:11 pm

possibly the most useful post on this message board

Hugo Pants
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Hugo Pants » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:15 pm

OH MY GOD! FRIGGIN' AWESOME!

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Scooter
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:31 pm

possibly the most useful post on this message board
Without question. I saw the CTV web link and posted it on the front page of the site immediately, assuming that some people watching the news clip might google tree planting and find the site. When I saw David's email today, I almost jumped up and did a Happy Planter Dance around the studio.

Well, ok, I actually did the dance, but I was a bit shy about admitting it.

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EX BATLANGERS READ THIS ASAP

Post by Hugo Pants » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:45 am

Alright, so anybody not in our google group we have to get in touch as soon as possible as we seem to have an avenue to get some. Thanks to Scooter, you can read the thread 'Locked out? Batlang bombs' to get more details on this turn of events.

Here's my email : andrelyons@hotmail.com and phone number 514.593.5435 if you aren't on the group yet, get a hold of me!

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Scooter
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Re: Locked Out? Batlang Bombs

Post by Scooter » Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:00 pm

And I think a key thing here is getting this all rolling very, very quickly. I seem to remember a comment about WEPP expiring after a certain amount of time, possibly in December. If the process takes six weeks, this needs action immediately.

Mike Collins
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Batlang

Post by Mike Collins » Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:34 pm

Can anyone tell me who the trustee was in the Batlang bankruptcy. Need that damn T4. Thanks.

westisland
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Re: Batlang

Post by westisland » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:22 pm

G. Slocombe & Associates Inc.

13 – 6421 Applecross Road

Nanaimo BC V9V 1N1

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