Apr 03 2012
HALIFAX, NS - Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie says the NDP government’s decision to provide $304 million to Irving Shipbuilding requires an explanation.
“We support the jobs and opportunity the shipbuilding contract will bring. However, the Premier must make the case for providing $304 million to a company that is worth billions," said Baillie. “In light of the amount of taxpayers' money given, and considering $260 million of the money will not be repaid, we need to see all details.”
Baillie said some of the details Nova Scotians deserve to know include how much Irving asked for, how this large amount was determined and why $260 million of the total loan is forgivable.
“Each Nova Scotian is being asked to hand over $300 to Irving Shipbuilding and then to write off most of it,” added Baillie. “The Premier must explain why Nova Scotian taxpayers need to be the banker for the Irvings. All aspects of this decision need to be open to full public scrutiny.”
Baillie also questioned if the investment was reviewed and approved by the Premier’s Economic Advisory Panel, the Industrial Expansion Fund Advisory Committee or the new Jobs Fund board, the Economic Investment Committee or the Ships Start Here steering committee.
Baillie added that all megaprojects involving taxpayers’ money should go through a thorough cost-benefit analysis. In the case of the Nova Scotia government’s investment in the federal government’s shipbuilding initiative, Baillie says taxpayers must be assured, at every step, that the ships are built to the best quality and with the best value for every dollar invested.