N.S. taxpayers to shell out $32.7 million for just first two years in subsidy, even though US Navy bought both the CAT and sister ship for that price in 2012
HALIFAX, NS – Progressive Conservative leader Jamie Baillie is calling on the Premier to release the secret guaranteed profit taxpayers will pay to Bay Ferries.
“It’s unfair to expect taxpayers to blindly pay a guaranteed profit to a private corporation,” says Baillie. “It’s time to come clean about how much the Liberals are really asking Nova Scotians to pay.”
Taxpayers will cover the ‘management fees’ for operating the ferry on the Yarmouth-Portland route, but the amount of these fees was blacked out of the contract released to the public. Baillie says this is wrong.
“We are being left in the dark on far too many details of this deal,” says Baillie. “If the Premier is so sure Nova Scotians will support the deal, why won’t he share the details?”
In 2012, the U.S. Navy purchased two high-speed ferries, HST1 and HST2, for $35 million USD. The Liberals are now subsidizing one of those Ferries for two years for at least $32.7 million.
“The Liberals sold out the taxpayers of Nova Scotia,” says Baillie. “They made a bad deal. This was about politics, not jobs.”
The Liberal deal for the ferry requires taxpayers to assume all of the financial risk, rather than Bay Ferries. In addition to start-up funds of over $30 million for two years, the company will also receive cash from taxpayers to meet any shortfall in revenues and are on the hook for $5 million USD should Bay Ferries default on its deal.
“Taxpayers are being told to tighten their belts while the Liberals keep details secret,” says Baillie. “How can we trust this government to make good decisions with our tax dollars ever again?”