[URBAN NOTE] “Plan to revitalize Stelco supported by Ontario, opposed by Hamilton”
The Globe and Mail‘s Greg Keenan reports on a very controversial plan for rebuilding Hamilton’s storied Stelco steel plant.
A plan to lift Stelco Inc. out of creditor protection is backed by the Ontario government and one of the steel maker’s union locals, but another union local, the city of Hamilton and a former president of the company oppose the proposal.
A restructuring agreement backed by Ontario and local 8782 of the United Steelworkers union calls for Bedrock Industries Group LLC to lease the land the steel company’s mills are located on, pay off a secured debt owed to former parent United States Steel Corp., and provide money to partially finance pension plans and health-care benefits.
The deal will enable Stelco to “emerge as a stand alone steel manufacturer with a restructured balance sheet and sufficient liquidity so that it will be able to compete in challenging steel market conditions,” Ernst & Young, the monitor appointed by the Ontario Superior Court, said in a filing before a hearing on the plan scheduled for Thursday.
[. . .]
A court filing by the city of Hamilton said the plan does not include the payment of $7.8-million in property taxes that will be owed by the steel maker as of March 31, 2017.
Part of the plan that includes hiving off 513 acres of Stelco land in Hamilton to be sold and redeveloped was done without consultation with city officials, the filing added.