A legal battle between a Calgary contractor and the Municipal District of Bonnyville (M.D) has left one local business in the Lakeland high and dry.
Lakeland Flooring & Design LTD completed $41,425 worth of work to the new Fort Kent and Ardmore Fire Halls. A legal dispute between the M.D. and RPC Group has left owner Kathleen Vallee unpaid. Vallee says that after she sent invoices to the RPC Group and was not getting paid she, therefore, filed a builder lien on the newly constructed fire halls. In Alberta, a builders’ lien must be registered at the Land Titles Office within 45 days from the date the work is completed, or the materials supplied to the project site.
“I was not getting paid because RPC Group had a legal dispute with the M.D.,” Vallee told Lakeland Connect. “And now, they said because I have filed a lien on the building. They cannot pay me.”
A construction or builders lien gives contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, and labourers a method to collect money owed to them for labour and materials used to improve the land or property. Anyone who makes or causes to make improvements by providing work or materials in Alberta for an owner, contractor, or subcontractor may file an Alberta Builders Lien.
Vallee says she tried to reach RPC Group via telephone up until the last day to file the lien on the building to request payment in full.
“I also texted the CEO of RPC group, and then his answer was, talk to my lawyer,” Vallee said.
An Alberta Builders Lien is primarily used with delinquent customers, as leverage to get paid. When you file builders liens in Alberta you are registering your legal interest against the property where the work was done, or materials supplied. The easiest way of declaring you have a financial interest in a project, for monies owed is with an Alberta Builders Lien.
It should be noted that when you file a Builders Lien further payment will be delayed to the entire project and freeze the property so it cannot be sold or refinanced.
Lakeland Connect had an exclusive interview with Reeve Greg Sawchuk from the M.D. on September 20. We asked about the lawsuit, who was suing who, and what for.
“As soon as these things go legal. We cannot disclose any of the details,” Reeve Sawchuk told Lakeland Connect. “All I can say is that we have lawyers working on it, and we are hoping to have it all resolved shortly so that we can get the firefighters into those new buildings.”
For local owner Kathleen Vallee, that means she has been left high and dry and she really doesn’t know where or if she will be able to make up the lost income because of the lawsuit.
Taxpayers in the M.D. were not made aware of the lawsuit.
Lakeland Connect reached out to the RPC Group in Calgary to inquire about the lawsuit. It is unclear who is suing who. However, RPC Group didn’t return any of our messages with any information.