About That $440 Million Dollar Loan Premier Notley Announced

#BlockedByEzra

There’s a Rebel Media “exclusive” circling on Facebook about a government loan promised to a company that’s insolvent. It even links to a page that clearly says “see Home (page)” as evidence the company has nothing underway. If you click the Home link, there’s a list much like the one below.

On January 21, Premier Notley made an announcement regarding a $440 million dollar loan guarantee to VCI’s (Value Creation Inc) $2 billion dollar bitumen upgrader near Edmonton. Ezra Levant, “Rebel Commander”, published an article saying it was a lie. He researched and found that the company had filed for bankruptcy protection. He was almost right. 

Apparently he didn’t see that VCI has been quite active since 2009. 

In early 2009, BA Energy filed for bankruptcy protection as it could not repay a $50 million loan from VCI, its parent company. 

In 2010, VCI announced they had received approvals to remove their subsidiary, BA Energy, from bankruptcy protection. VCI also negotiated a deal with BP that same year to develop a 185,000 acre parcel of land called Terre de Grace in Northern Alberta.

In 2013, VCI said consultations regarding the upgrader were underway with the province. Having recently been in financial difficulty, the company said they needed “access to their bitmen reserves to raise the capital” to resume the project. The article states there is a partial build already on location. 

Levant says the “Alberta Bureau Chief” went to check it out and found evidence of previous work, as is noted in the article above, but that nothing appears to be currently underway. 

In 2016, VCI made an application to amend their previous approvals with Alberta Energy Regulator for the upgrader. Detailed within is a clear timeline of BA Energy’s applications, dating back to 2004, as well as the amalgamation of BA Energy under VCI in 2015. The application was amended and approvals were then granted to VCI. 

On December 9, 2018, the application was approved.

Which makes this supposedly defunct company fairly active over the last ten years, at least, concerning the Merchant Crude Customization – Heartland upgrader (formerly known as BA Energy Heartland Upgrader). AER’s documentation shows VCI has been continuously moving through the process of obtaining approvals to begin the project. 

I only recall one thing about the Rebel Commander Ezra Levant:

Ezra Levant … displayed “reckless disregard for the truth” and “took little or no responsibility for the accuracy” of certain statements he published… ~quotes from an Ontario Superior Court Judge, November 27, 2014

Simon Houpt, The Globe and Mail, 2014

A request for comment from VCI was not returned by press time.

This post contains fact and a link to an opinion piece containing inaccurate information. 

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean

dmaclean@countersign.ca

@Mitchell_AB @thisweekinAB

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