& Allyson Beauregard
& Allyson Beauregard
LITCHFIELD – LiveWell Foods Canada Inc., the organization promising to construct a Global Innovation Centre and marijuana growing facility in Litchfield’s Industrial Park, was recently subjected to a $1,679,119 legal mortgage on the part of Montreal-based Deslan – A.I.M Environmental, a company specializing in decommissioning, revaluation, demolition, asbestos and other contaminant removal, contaminated site remediation, industrial cleaning, recycling and tank removal. The documents were officially filed November 20.
A legal mortgage is a mechanism contractors use to guarantee they are paid for their work on a project, otherwise they own a portion of the asset’s title. The news comes after a surveillance company working at the site withdrew because they had not been paid for their services as of December 11.
The project in danger?
Despite the latest information and a lack of further details from LiveWell,
nothing indicates their plans have changed. Although a legal mortgage is often applied by contractors as a security, the news leaves some of the MRC Pontiac’s elected officials worried, who anonymously said they fear for the future of the project if problems like this persist. A meeting between LiveWell’s executives and the MRC Pontiac’s elected officials is scheduled for December 19 to update the issue.
In October, rumours circulated that LiveWell had gone belly-up due to a lack of
activity at the site and word of unpaid contractors; officials claimed all was well and
progressing, despite a possible change in direction because of new Health Canada regulations allowing outdoor growth. At the time, Steve Archambault, LiveWell Chief Financial Officer, said that because growing outside is much more cost effective than building greenhouses and growing indoors, the company was pausing to reassess their strategy in order to “ensure long-term success”. He admitted the company “may have been slow in terms of paying suppliers” because of the scale of investment required and the need to secure opportunities, but stated that everyone would be paid.
LiveWell officially acquired a 450 acre portion of the former Smurfit-Stone property near Portage-du-Fort in late April 2018 from Nova Scotia Company, affiliate of Wakefield Properties, an American real-estate development company. The company originally planned to have construction on one million square feet of greenhouses well underway by October and to be in operation this year.
Livewell did not respond to the Journal’s numerous calls.