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Local companies await decision on payment from bankrupt company


At least a dozen local sub-contractors hired by Malcom Construction Ltd. of Winnipeg to work on Safeway’s $6.8-million expansion project may get some answers at a meeting here next week as to when they will get paid.

The sub-contractors haven’t seen any money from the the Winnipeg-based company since before it went belly-up in late August--midway through the project.

They already have had a meeting here with Safeway officials to address their concerns.

Jeanne Kaun, of Ed Kaun and Sons, said the Nov. 28 meeting gave all the local parties a chance to talk constructively about the problem.

John Graham, Safeway’s public affairs manager for the Winnipeg operating area, said his company was very concerned about the plight of local sub-contractors, adding Safeway would be following the outcome of next week’s meeting.

“This is a fairly complicated issue,” he said Monday.

“We met with local sub-trades and spent about two hours with them to listen to their concerns [and] everyone decided to put things on hold until [Dec. 16] when all creditors of Malcom Construction will be meeting to see where the situation is,” Graham explained.

“We will be kept very aware of the situation,” he stressed.

Although she would not go into detail, Kaun said at this point all the sub-contractors are hoping for is to see the issue rectified before the holidays.

“There are a lot of contractors who are still out some money here,” she said.

“We feel that a mutual agreement can be reached, hopefully before Christmas,” she added. “We’ll just take this one step at a time.”

Claude Jodoin of C.J. Contracting, another local claimant, is looking to next week’s meeting to answer some key questions.

“I don’t feel we should [publicly] discuss details until we have that meeting [but] we will find out who is owed, how much money is owed, and whether there’s enough money to pay everybody,” he said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Graham stressed Safeway’s original commitment to paying for the expansion project.

“One thing I want to make very clear about this [expansion] project is that Safeway regularly and timely paid all money on this project to the general contractor, with the full understanding that they would forward it to the sub-trades,” he stressed.

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