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Insolvent Laurentian University leaving dozens of northern firms in the lurch

Monitor's documents include scores of unsecured creditors

While it has become apparent that Laurentian University is on the hook financially for millions of dollars with some high-profile banks and other creditors, the actual list of creditors takes in scores of Sudbury-based corporations and businesses that are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are many other local companies listed whose actual dollar amount on the money owed to them is not yet revealed. 

It means that even though Laurentian University has financial struggles, dozens of other firms in Sudbury and across Northern Ontario are taking a financial hit as well.

In some cases, the outstanding financial debt is in the millions of dollars, but in most cases, based on the documents available, the outstanding debt has yet to be determined (TBD).  

According to the documents filed by Laurentian University, there is $6,023,157.83 in secured debt. 

But the unsecured debt is much higher. It is listed at more than $181,740,374.13.

Laurentian has applied for protection through Canada's Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA), which means that companies that are owed money will not likely be paid for months, if at all.

Laurentian will have to create a Plan of Compromise or Arrangement. This means the debtor company – Laurentian – can begin negotiating with its creditors and stakeholders. In doing so, it may terminate or assign unwanted contracts, lay off employees, sell assets, negotiate new credit terms, change its corporate structure and take other steps to allow it to move toward a viable business model. The court is normally asked to approve all major actions.

Secured debt is a debt where the creditor has security over the money that is owed.

Bankruptcy Canada defines a secured debt as follows:

"A secured debt is one for which you have assigned collateral, which your creditor can seize if you are unable to pay. Two common examples of secured debt are home mortgages, in which the home itself is the collateral, and automobile financing plans, where the vehicle is the collateral. In these situations, the creditor is said to have a “lien” on the property or vehicle."

Bankruptcy Canada also has a definition for unsecured debt.

"An unsecured debt is a debt for which your creditor has no collateral. In Canada today, most credit cards are unsecured debt. Some, but not all, lines of credit and personal loans – particularly for smaller amounts – are unsecured debt. Any monies you owe to the government for income taxes or student loans are also unsecured debt. Finally, amounts owing to phone companies, internet service providers and cable television companies are unsecured debt."

In the case of Laurentian, the list of secured creditors shows 10 businesses – three in Sudbury and the rest being from out of town. 

  • Forma-Con Construction, Vaughan ON $ 2,520,000.00
  • Accel Electrical Contractors, Woodbridge ON  $ 2,491,419.43
  • BBM Excavation Company Ltd., Vaughan ON $ 820,000.00
  • Interpaving Limited, Sudbury ON  $ 156,267.70
  • F & M Caulking Ltd., Stoney Creek ON $ 18,399.79
  • Sandro Steel Fabrication Ltd., Sudbury ON  $ 17,070.91
  • Blue Chip Leasing Corporation, Toronto  TBD
  • Corfab Company Limited, Sudbury ON  TBD
  • Dell Financial Services Canada Limited, North York ON  TBD
  • Lenovo Financial Services, Burlington ON  TBD

That's just on Page One of the creditors list. The other 11 pages show the names of several hundred creditors that are unsecured. The list is not complete in the sense that it shows the names of roughly 115 businesses that have a dollar amount attached to their claim. The majority of unsecured creditors listed do not have a dollar amount. 

The largest unsecured creditor is the Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto, listed at $71,603,000.

Another large creditor is listed in care of lawyer Michael Peerless, who is a managing partner of the law firm Mackenzie Lake Lawyers LLP of London, Ontario, for $45,000,000. This was a class-action lawsuit against Laurentian and computer science student Spencer Brydges, who hacked into the university's computer system to expose security problems with that system.


The Toronto Dominion Bank is on the unsecured list for more than $18,000,000.

Bondfield Construction Company of Toronto is also listed as unsecured for $13,500,000.

After that there follows a miscellaneous list of creditors who are listed with various outstanding amounts from several million dollars to one amount as low as $1,000 (Yukon Geological Survey).  Creditors are listed from across Canada, across Northern Ontario and in Sudbury. 

Some of the larger amounts listed for Sudbury include the Health Sciences North Research Institute, which is owed more than $456,000.

The University of Sudbury is also on the list. The creditor list said it is owed more than $444,000.

Vale Canada Limited of Copper Cliff is also on the list. The document said Vale is owed more than $349,000.

Also on the list is Thorneloe University of Sudbury, which is owed more than $243,000.

Further down the list, Huntington University is also named as a creditor. The document said Huntington is owed more than $211,000.

The list also shows what might be the biggest outstanding utility bill in the city. Greater Sudbury Utilities is owed more than $164,000.

Science North is also on the list. It shows that Laurentian owes the science facility more than $116,000.

Compass Group Canada, which has an address in Sudbury, is on the list and is owed $80,000.

The North East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) is also in the document and is owed nearly $58,000.

The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation is also on the list for more than $52,000.

The Canadian Mining Industry Research Organization on Maley Drive in Sudbury is on the list and is owed $27,000.

Glencore Mining is also listed and has a claim in for "miscellaneous research programs" and is owed more than $21,000.

Sudbury and District Health Unit is on the list with a claim for $20,000.

The list goes on with more than 500 corporations and companies that are owed money.

Those who are owed money by Laurentian will have to follow the case and file documents of claim as outlined by Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act, which has specific case files for the Laurentian case.

The court appointed monitor in the case is Ernst and Young Inc., which has a dedicated website containing all the public documents in the case.