TORONTO, Ont. — In a move that could cost carriers millions, TCT Logistics’ trustees KPMG have applied to the courts for an order to release funds otherwise earmarked for transportation services.
Provincial trust requirements for load brokers keep the trustee from using money set aside for many Canadian fleets and O/Os to pay two major secured creditors. These two lenders are collectively owed $70 million.
By trying to move this matter under federal bankruptcy law, presumably the trustee could then argue federal law should take precedent over provincial law. Up until now, the trustee has been setting funds aside in a special account as a precaution, says the carrier group. If lawyers for the trustee are successful, this “carrier cash” could be released to the trustee to pay the secured creditors.
The application is to be heard on Apr. 18, and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) wants to bring fleets together to fight the maneuver. OTA is prepared to assist in retaining a law firm and putting together a group of carriers who wish to be represented in this matter and to share legal costs.
This legal action would only pertain to the lower court decision. Win or lose, fleets will have to determine whether they wish to launch/defend any resulting appeals.
OTA has sent a participation/commitment form to Ontario-based carriers and its members owed a minimum of $2,000. Carriers are asked to contribute $1,000 each to take part in the legal action and an immediate response is required given the timelines. In order to participate, carriers must already be members of the association, or they must complete and submit a membership application form.
Non-members wishing to participate in this challenge may obtain a membership application form by contacting OTA at email@example.com or call the membership department at 416-249-7401.
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