Nova Scotia Finance Minister Mark Furey held true to that tradition when he stood in Trenton council chambers and announced that DSME Trenton will be closing door of the local plant.
“Past governments have handed out money without a sound business case. Today, we see the unfortunate consequences of those actions,” he said. “We as a government inherited it and government has few options expect to prevent the company from losing more money and make sure the remaining assets are returned to Nova Scotians.“
Furey said the plant is an important piece of infrastructure and has the potential to create good manufacturing jobs and economic growth for the area.
However, entering into the wind tower market has been difficult and despite the province’s best effort to make it a profitable business, it was not successful.
“We can’t accept business plans that are contingent until limited, government funded support.
The province contributed $19.6 million for 49 per cent of the company's common shares as well as $36 million in repayable loans and $3.8 million in a forgivable loan.
The company informed the government that is not in a position to start payment on the repayable loans that was scheduled to being in 2018. The government is filing for receivership proceedings to try and recover as much of the investment as possible.
He said significant time has been put in to explore other opportunities for the plant, including having an accounting firm contacted more than 100 businesses that might be interested in investing in the plant.
Pictou East MLA Tim Houston said the plant has many assets including a skilled workforce and infrastructure on the site.
“What we heard the minister say is that Ernst and Young talked to over a 100 people and there wasn’t a taker. Now, we don’t what the degree of interest was by the 100 people. In business often these things come down to price and maybe today the price got a little bit more attractive.”
He said it is time for the Liberal government to embrace this opportunity.
“I think what happened the last couple of years, is this was obviously a deal done by the NDP and I don’t think the Liberal government ever felt any form of ownership of it and maybe that played out in the interest, but going forward I see value there and I hope others will as well. “