Organization that protects unique B.C. properties declared debt-free

By The Canadian Press
March 7, 2017 - 10:23am

VICTORIA — The B.C. Supreme Court has declared the Land Conservancy of British Columbia debt-free, more than three years after the non-profit, charitable trust sought protection from its creditors.

The land conservancy, which has cared for landmark properties around the province, says it has been issued a certificate of completion, confirming it has met obligations imposed during court-supervised restructuring.

The organization transferred 36 of its properties to other non-profits, individuals and various levels of government to ensure the lands would remain protected and would not face foreclosure or a tax sale while the charity was unable to pay its bills.

The land conservancy entered creditor protection in October 2013 with debts of more than $7 million.

It says it paid just over $7.3 million to creditors and nearly $2.5 million for legal fees and court-appointed monitoring, while receiving almost $1.7 million in creditor forgiveness and $230,000 in donated legal fees.

It says it is only the second Canadian charity to successfully complete the creditor protection process and it continues to own seven properties and hold more than 240 conservation covenants throughout B.C.

“I wish to thank creditors sincerely for their patience as we have worked to achieve this goal,” land conservancy executive director Cathy Armstrong, said in a news release.

“To our members, donors and volunteers: Your continued support has made the difference. TLC exists today as a sustainable land trust dedicated to protecting places of ecological importance because of you.”

Frances Pugh, co-chair of the board of directors, said she and the board are grateful to the conservation community that helped find the best stewards for lands the organization had to give up.

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