Statement by Finance Minister Charles Sousa on Stelco's Court Filing to Facilitate Restructuring with Bedrock Industries
Today, Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister of Finance, issued the following statement on the court filing by Stelco (the operating name of U.S. Steel Canada Inc. effective December 2, 2016) for approval to move forward with its restructuring following the agreement with Bedrock Industries Group LLC (Bedrock).
"Ontario welcomes this latest development in the effort to restructure Stelco as an important step toward saving 2,100 local jobs, protecting pensions and supporting economic development in the Hamilton region while ensuring environmental protection.
Bedrock's proposal would mean that operations at the Hamilton and Lake Erie facilities would continue and that retirees in Stelco's four main pension plans would continue to receive their benefits without interruption or reductions. They would also continue to receive post-employment benefits. In addition, the proposal would ensure that the province receives financial assurance to cover costs that may be incurred in connection with environmental conditions on the land, and would provide a release of certain legacy environmental liabilities. This would open the door to development of the industrial lands in a manner that protects the environment as well as benefits the Stelco retirees through the creation of a land trust, governed by the retirees.
Throughout this process, the government has been working with various stakeholders to help arrive at the best possible outcome for employees, pension members and the local economy. To help facilitate the restructuring of Stelco, Ontario would provide financial support of up to $76 million in fully secured loans and various forms of regulatory relief.
A Memorandum of Understanding, signed in September between Ontario and Bedrock, outlined terms to help facilitate the restructuring and formed part of the court filings today. The Bedrock proposal is now being brought before the court to seek approval to move forward and finalize the terms.
We are encouraged that the proposed agreement and plan filed in court today provides a solid foundation that would help facilitate the restructuring of Stelco. Stelco remains in court-supervised creditor protection proceedings under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act.
Our government remains committed to obtaining the best possible outcome for employees, pension members and the Hamilton Region."