Sears Canada's court monitor opposes priority for pensioners over creditors

A court-appointed monitor for the Sears Canada bankruptcy process says it opposes a proposal that would effectively allocate all the failed retailer's remaining assets to the company's underfunded pensions.

F-T-I Consulting argues in a filing to Ontario Superior Court that the pension proposal should be dismissed due to legislation and case law.

A petition filed with the court in July by the pensioners claimed about 18,000 Sears retirees should have first claim on assets to reduce a roughly $260-million shortfall in their pension plans.

However, Sears Canada had only about 158.3 million dollars on hand plus a few properties that remain to be sold -- meaning none of the company's other unsecured creditors would receive anything if the pensioners get first priority.