Directions for Conservatory Measures to Toronto-Dominion Bank—May 15, 2009

Conservatory Measures

What is a conservatory measure?

The Superintendent of Bankruptcy puts in place conservatory measures when a bankruptcy or insolvency estate needs protection. It might be in cases of Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) malfeasance or if serious wrongdoing on the part of a LIT puts estate files at risk. Conservatory measures may also be put in place if a LIT becomes ill or dies without a valid succession agreement. Finally, conservatory measures may be put in place if a LIT, for whatever reason, has allowed the administration of his or her practice to become substandard.

In the matter of:Diane Elizabeth Couture

Toronto-Dominion Bank, 4 King Street West, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 7L3


Directions for Conservatory Measures
(Section 14.03 of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act)


Whereas the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (the Act) provides the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (the Superintendent) with the general power to supervise the administration of all estates and matters to which the Act applies;

Whereas Diane Elizabeth Couture (the trustee) is the holder of an individual license as trustee in bankruptcy;

Whereas Ms. Emily Beckerman, Senior Bankruptcy Analyst, Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB), as well as the Outreach and Complaint Section of the OSB, received several complaints from bankrupts to the effect that they were unable to contact the trustee for some time;

Whereas on , Ms. Beckerman and I attended the trustee's office and ascertained that neither the trustee nor any staff member were present;

Whereas the trustee's voicemail box is full and is not accepting any further messages, the email address of the trustee (diane@dianecouture.com) is full and not accepting any new email communication and no response has been received from an email sent to the alternate email address of the trustee on (Dcouture1@hotmail.com);

Whereas after an incident in April 2009, where the trustee was unavailable for a period of time, she was informed by Ms. Beckerman that she was required to designate a backup. The trustee informed Ms. Beckerman that she was working closely with another trustee, Alison Petrie. On , I contacted Ms. Petrie, who advised that her offer of assistance to the trustee had been declined by a staff person in early 2009, and that Ms. Petrie has no access to the trustee's files or office;

Whereas various contact attempts, via telephone, email and personal attendance at the trustee's office have been made without success;

Whereas the trustee's file inventory totals 254 estates with an aggregate amount of approximately $210,000 in the trust bank accounts;

WhereasI believe on reasonable grounds that the estates require protection;

Whereas the Superintendent may, for the protection of an estate, exercise the powers set out in subsection 14.03(1) of the Act, in the circumstances referred to in section 14.03(2) of the Act;

Whereas the Superintendent has delegated to me, in accordance with section 14.01(2) of the Act, the powers of the Superintendent as specified at section 14.03(1) of the Act, in the circumstance referred to in section 14.03(2), a copy of which delegation is attached, along with copies of sections 14.01, 14.02 and 14.03 of the Act;

Whereas paragraphs 14.03(1)(b) and (c) and 14.03(2)(b) of the Act apply;

I, Karen Smith, in my capacity as delegate for the Superintendent, direct the Toronto-Dominion Bank, 4 King Street West, Oshawa, Ontario, L1H 7L3 that, pursuant to sections 14.03(1)(b) and (c) of the Act:

  1. it make no debit, payment or transfer of funds credited to, or which ought to have been credited to, the estates of bankruptcies and proposals administered by Diane Elizabeth Couture without the countersignature of Brian Haley or Emily Beckerman;
  2. it not pay out of these accounts: cheques, bills of exchange, bank drafts or other instruments, issued before the receipt of these directions which are presented for payment after the receipt of these directions;
  3. it submit all statements of accounts, accepted cheques and other documents or information having to do with the above-mentioned estate trust bank accounts, to Brian Haley, Senior Bankruptcy Analyst, Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy, 600-25 St. Clair Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M4T 1M2;

That these directions take effect immediately and will remain in effect until such time as the undersigned is satisfied that they are no longer required;

That in accordance with section 14.03(3) of the Act, these directions bind the Toronto-Dominion Bank, who must comply with them;

That, pursuant to section 14.03(4) of the Act, a person who complies with this direction is not liable for any act done by that person only to comply with this direction.

Signed at the City of Toronto, Ontario, this

Karen Smith
Assistant Superintendent
Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy

This document has been reproduced as submitted by the delegate of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy.
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