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CanWest chain leaves 300 creditors unpaid Add to ...

CanWest Global Communications Corp. 's newspaper chain has left a stack of unpaid bills to more than 300 creditors, including charities, labour union locals, several news services and a pair of National Hockey League teams, court filings show.

CanWest LP, which includes 10 metropolitan dailies, filed for court protection from creditors last week in Ontario citing more than $1.4-billion in debt. This week the company filed a list of creditors that ran 12 pages.

The list included the Salvation Army in Saskatoon which is owed $54,485. The filing does not say what the money was for. But a Salvation Army official said it was likely the amount raised this Christmas season by the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper. The paper holds an annual "Sporting Christmas campaign" which raises money for hampers from the Salvation Army.

The list also included the United Way of Edmonton which is owed $9,727 and the Alberta College of Family Physicians, owed $8,500.

CanWest LP also owes just over $8,000 to the National Newspaper Awards, an annual event run by the Canadian Newspaper Association.

Two NHL teams, the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers, are owed close to $200,000 in total. It is not clear what the money was for and officials from the clubs were not available for comment yesterday.

Two locals of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which represents workers at several CanWest papers, are listed as being owed about $30,000 in total.

Several non-CanWest newspapers were also among the creditors. They included the Toronto Star, owed about $150,000; La Presse, $21,000; and The Globe and Mail, about $87,500. Some U.S. newspapers and several Canadian radio stations are also owed money, according to the filing.

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