Dunn to Furey: Taxpayers’ interests must be protected at DSME in Trenton

March 14, 2016 at 2:05 pm

Minister must address security, maintenance of million-dollar equipment at shuttered plant

TRENTON, NS – Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn expects Liberal Minister Mark Furey to make sure the taxpayers’ interests are being protected at the now-closed DSTN plant.

In 2010, the NDP government made the province a 49 per cent stakeholder in the metal fabrication plant, while investing more than $56 million into operations.

On Feb. 16, Minister Furey announced that operations would cease at the plant and the province would file receivership proceedings. While DSME South Korea and the Town of Trenton have stated they hope the right investors will set up shop at the facility, concerns are being raised about status of the building and the vulnerability of valuable equipment inside.

“We’re disappointed that the plant has closed and people have lost their jobs. But we are also concerned about taxpayers’ money at stake here,” says Dunn. “It is a big mistake for the government to jeopardize the plant’s million-dollar equipment will lose value with a lack of maintenance or security.”

Trenton-native Don Murphy has worked at the Trenton Plant for over 40 years, most recently as the maintenance supervisor for DSTN. He says that the valuable equipment in the building must be maintained to keep its value.

“There needs to be ongoing maintenance to the state-of-the-art equipment to keep it in top-notch condition,” says Murphy.

Murphy recalls that in the period when TrentonWorks ceased operations and before DSME commenced operation at the plant, numerous pieces of valuable equipment went missing.

“I was devastated at the amount of equipment that went missing after TrentonWorks closed,” says Murphy. “I hope it doesn’t happen again.”

Dunn is calling on the minister to explain the measures in place to ensure that all equipment is protected and maintained for future use or sale.

“If the government wants to make the Trenton plant attractive for a potential buyer, there has to be some due diligence toward the facility and equipment,” said Dunn. “This government needs to ensure that no further taxpayer funds are lost on this project.”