Nova Scotia

QEH demolition company in receivership

The company behind the controversial demolition of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax has been placed in receivership, leaving several small sub-contractors unpaid.

The company behind the controversial demolition of Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax has been placed in receivership, leaving several small sub-contractors unpaid.

Work on the project stopped earlier this month.

The company selected by the Nova Scotia government, Demolition Resources Limited of Amherst was fired because it wasn't meeting deadlines.

Scotiabank is a secured creditor of the demolition company — which started to take down the school. The bank is owed more than $200,000 and it forced the receivership.

Tree Works Ltd. is still waiting to be paid $7,500 for work it did in February.  

Verhagen Demolition Ltd. is out $7,000 and Fred M. Dunphy Excavating & Construction Limited is owed $5,000.

But the province said it is not responsible for those debts.

"It's an unfortunate situation," said Dave Salter with the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. "In regard to the sub-contractors, the requirement for payment for them would come from DRL — Demolition Resources Limited — not the provincial government."

Salter would only say the lowest bidder who meets the contract requirements wins the tender — he couldn't outline what steps are taken to check out a company's background.

CBC News has found there are several judgments against Demolition Resources Limited, including one by the Municipality of West Hants for more than $53,000.

That judgment was filed in 2007 and had to do with the company's demolition of the former Windsor Regional High School. It still remains on file with the courts.

"I think that the government has a responsibility here. They approved this contractor. This contractor was supposed to be searched out, checked out," said Clarence Talbot, owner of Tree Works, which was hired to preserve trees on the site.

"I worked for them, I didn't get paid ... I'm not too sure what I'm supposed to do here."

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