Public Accounts provide some numbers on Nova Scotia DNR Grants and Contributions to private industry

In checking up on some claims on a Facebook page about how many $ the NS Government sinks into one of our Industrial Forestry operations, I was directed to NS Public Accounts as one of the sources for the figures.

I wasn’t aware of how much info is provided by Public Accounts – and how much is not provided.

Volume 3 — Supplementary Information For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 lists for each Department of government:
– Salaries of all employees
– Travel Expense totals for each employee
– Grants and Contributions listed by recipients
– “Other” which I am guessing are fees p[aid for services.

For NSDNR (now NSLF) for the last fiscal year:
– The Salary total is $45,040,546.75
– The Travel Expense total is $1,562,604.69
– The Grants and Contributions total is $10,638,959.78
– The “Other” total is $20,427,423.21

& the Grand Total: $77,669,534.43

Under Grants and Contributions, the following are the items listed as $100,000 & greater (asterisks are mine):

Association for Sustainable Forestry … 1,809,458.20
Forest Nova Scotia Inc … 671,500.00
*Harry Freeman and Son Ltd … 241,927.73
*Ledwidge Lumber Company Ltd … 164,370.83
Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute Co-Operative Ltd … 108,598.13
*Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corp … 464,481.45
Nova Scotia Landowners & Forest Fibre Producers Assoc …204,077.50
Port Hawkesbury Paper LP … 4,083,275.15
*Scotsburn Lumber Ltd … 141,394.13
Western Woodlot Services Cooperative Ltd …129,675.50
Accounts Payable Adjustments … 860,974.38
*Members of WestFor

Wow. Can Premier McNeil who has campaigned against corporate welfare, explain the whopping $4,083,275.15 to PHP?

Why are these bigger mills getting so many $, especially with good prices for many products currently?

Why is Forest Nova Scotia Inc, a declared Advocacy organization (see About FNS), so heavily supported?

I would say the best deal for the bucks from the above list is the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute Co-Operative Ltd., the lowest on that list as it turns out, but good PR when the government needs it.

So Kudos to our Government/the NS Legislature for the Public Accounts; they are informative, but also call for more breakdown of the numbers. A lot more.


Further Comment Aug 16, 2018:

I guess a good chunk of the $ paid to mills is for silviculture and road building for forestry. Aaron Beswick in a Chronicle Herald article on May 25, 2018 – Mill’s deal with province raises concern said that “In 2017 Port Hawkesbury Paper paid $3.1 million in stumpage fees to the province and was paid back $4.4 million for silviculture work. The data was obtained by the Chronicle Herald through an access to information request.” The $4.4 million is more that the $4.1 million cited above. Regardless, we need a much better accounting from NSDNR on how such monies are spent, and what the net benefits are to the province and our forests.

Also: Aug 20, 2018, more payments revealed in other sections of the Public Accounts:
N.S. pays millions for Northern Pulp’s treatment facility design
Aaron Beswick for the Chronicle Herald. “Tucked into the supplementary information of the Public Accounts document is a grant of $6,001,238.13 to Northern Pulp Nova Scotia Corporation from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. It’s for designing the facility that another arm of the provincial government will conduct an environmental assessment on.”

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