Man. grain firm’s security covers 66 cents on dollar

Farmers who delivered to a delicensed southern Manitoba grain firm and haven’t already been paid will now get about 66 cents on the dollar for their grain.

The Canadian Grain Commission announced Wednesday that 17 farmers who delivered to West-Can Agra at Plum Coulee, about 15 km east of Winkler, can expect 66.1 per cent compensation on their eligible claims of $453,688.45.

The news follows the CGC’s cancellation of West-Can Agra’s grain dealer license effective Feb. 11.

The CGC said it’s used the $300,000 security posted by West-Can to compensate farmers who had filed eligible claims with the CGC and who hadn’t been paid by West-Can for grain delivered while it was still licensed.

Twenty-three farmers filed claims against West-Can’s security, but only 17 were found eligible, the CGC said Wednesday. Claims by the other six fell outside of the eligibility period.

“It is unfortunate when a member of the grain industry encounters difficulties like this,” CGC chief commissioner Elwin Hermanson said in the commission’s release. “I sympathize with those producers who lost money because the security posted by West-Can Agra Inc. was insufficient.”

The CGC has notified all eligible producers of their compensation and that they’ll get cheques in the mail, and has also notified ineligible producers that their claims aren’t covered by security.

A farmer who’s been stiffed on payment has “limited” recourse under the Canada Grain Act, according to the CGC. The amount available for compensation depends on the amount of security posted by a licensed company, and even then, farmers are only covered by a licensed company’s security for 90 days from the date they delivered their grain or 30 days from the date they were issued a cash purchase ticket or cheque, whichever is the lesser period.

If farmers aren’t paid because a licensed grain company can’t or won’t pay for a grain delivery, farmers must then contact the CGC within 30 days, the commission warned. Farmers who wait longer than 90 days from the date they delivered their grain to get paid, or who don’t tell the CGC within 30 days of the company’s refusal to pay them, aren’t eligible for compensation.

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