US Steel Canada decision coming today

We’re waiting for a bankruptcy judge to rule whether U.S. Steel Canada will be able to suspend payments for taxes owed to the city of Hamilton and Haldimand County, as well as pension and benefit payments to retirees.The decision by justice Herman Wilton-Siegel is expected to be released late this afternoon. It will come in the form of a brief notice to all parties of what the court intends to do. A full decision, and the reasons behind it will come on Tuesday. The ruling is also expected to halt post-employment benefit payments to retirees, and contributions to the pension plan, which now sports a current deficit of more than $800 million.In court proceedings yesterday, it appeared that the judge has accepted U.S. Steel’s argument that unless it allows a temporary halt to the company’s financial obligations, there’s not enough money to keep the Canadian mills going. Local federal NDP candidates joined Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath outside the gates of U.S. Steel this morning to talk about the new Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement which they linked to the Conservative government’s handling of the U.S. Steel crisis.“Stephen Harper doesn’t know how to negotiate a good deal. And when he gets a deal, he doesn’t know how to enforce it. Instead of protecting good jobs here in Hamilton, he signed a secret deal with U.S. Steel.”Hamilton Mountain candidate Scott Duvall: “It’s not enough that more than 2,000 jobs are at risk at U.S. Steel, and it’s not enough that more than 20,000 pensioners and their families are terrified about the future, or that Hamilton taxpayers may have to cough up $6 million to cover their municipal taxes owed by U.S. Steel.”The payments expected to be suspended in 2016 would cost U.S. Steel roughly $100 million. At the moment, it has only $75 million in guaranteed financing. The most significant issue is whether U.S. Steel intentionally created the very conditions that led to the bankruptcy of the Canadian operation. That issue has not yet been tested or proven in court.