Nova Scotia to replace controversial jobs fund, remove cabinet influence

Invest Nova Scotia board will remove provincial cabinet's role in giving economic development money.

HALIFAX — A controversial business loans program in Nova Scotia would be replaced by a new funding board and the cabinet’s role in handing out economic development money would be eliminated under legislation introduced Apr. 23.

Economic Development Minister Michel Samson says legislation creating the Invest Nova Scotia Board would replace the Jobs Fund.

Samson says while the board would remove cabinet’s role in giving economic development money, the government’s Treasury and Policy Board would still have the power to confirm whether the fund has the capital available before each project approved by the new board is finalized.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the new funding board would not be handing out grants, but there is a provision in the legislation for contributions such as government-owned land.

During last fall’s election campaign, McNeil promised to end direct taxpayer grants to businesses.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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