Liens coming off St. Albert homes after resolution of Telus contractor dispute

Some St. Albert homeowners who were unwittingly dragged into a dispute involving Telus contractor Ledcor and its subcontractor will have the liens removed from their homes by Thursday. 

“The liens are in process of being removed,” Copperline Excavating president Jamie Black said in a written statement to CBC News Wednesday.  “Ledcor and Copperline have resolved this matter.”

Telus is upgrading its fibre optic service across the province. The work in St. Albert was contracted to Ledcor, which subcontracted work to Copperline Excavating, a Spruce Grove company. 

David Hoff, a spokesman for Ledcor, characterized the dispute as a standard commercial disagreement involving the quality of work, quantity of work and costs.

His company withheld some of the money owed to Copperline.

Erin Ridge resident Lorna Wiens is one of homeowners caught up in the dispute. She had many questions when she discovered a lien for $103,633 in her mailbox on Tuesday night. 

“I was like ‘OK, so if we don’t pay this bill … like what happens?'” she asked.

“It seems like there’s a lot of people involved in this and a lot of companies involved in this and we’re just kind of the little guy that just being, I don’t know, used as a pawn of some kind.”

Hoff couldn’t confirm how many homeowners were affected.

He did say Copperline’s decision to take out liens on homeowners was a “little unusual.” 

“They’ve chosen to bring in some innocent bystanders into this situation that are really not involved,” Hoff told CBC News in an interview on Wednesday. 

Dispute resolved

Hoff said Ledcor’s lawyers were speaking to Copperline’s lawyers in an effort to resolve the situation. 

CBC News requested an interview with Copperline Excavating but the company’s only response was an email statement confirming the dispute had been resolved. 

Although the City of St. Albert wasn’t involved, the municipality posted information to its Facebook page directing residents to where they could get more information. 

Telus issued an apology to the affected residents and said work was underway to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. 

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