Premier Darrell Dexter today, Aug. 15, welcomed the federal government's announcement that it will partner with the province and Halifax Regional Municipality to fund the construction of a new state-of-the-art convention centre. The centre will create thousands of jobs for Nova Scotians and strengthen the provincial economy.
"This is great news for the people of Nova Scotia," said Premier Dexter. "This convention centre will mean new jobs during construction and operation, and it will put this province on the map as a premiere destination for conventions and other tourism activities.
"I want to thank Minister Peter MacKay and the federal government for supporting this important project. This is yet another example of governments working together to invest in jobs and grow Nova Scotia's economy."
Atlantic Canada is the only region in the country that is unable to accommodate major national organizations and international conventions, resulting in a loss of millions of dollars in potential revenue every year. The new convention centre will change that and bring thousands more people into the province.
The potential spinoffs are far-reaching. Businesses across Nova Scotia stand to benefit both during and following construction. Industry trends show that 30 to 40 per cent of delegates extend their visits for personal travel, and meetings and conventions rely on a range of Nova Scotia companies for products and services, such as transportation, local produce and local entertainment.
During construction, the project is expected to generate an estimated 1,700 person years of employment and $9.5 million in provincial tax revenue. In addition, the convention centre is expected to create more than 12,000 person years of employment and $40 million in provincial tax revenue during the first 10 years of operation alone.
"The tax revenue will go toward enhancing health, education and social services for Nova Scotians in all regions of the province," said Premier Dexter. "This is truly a Nova Scotia project."
The convention centre is part of a $500 million development by Rank Inc. that includes a financial centre, hotel complex, retail and public space, connecting business, communities and visitors to Nova Scotia.
The province has committed $56 million toward the convention centre portion of the project. HRM has also committed $56 million and the federal government announced it will contribute $51 million.
Now that funding is in place, the next step is for the developer to confirm the details related to other elements of the project.
"I can't remember a time when this province had so many projects on the horizon that could change the economic landscape of Nova Scotia," said Premier Dexter. "A new convention centre, the Lower Churchill project, Irving's shipbuilding bid — these are significant opportunities to invest in Nova Scotia's future and I am committing to do everything I can to support these projects moving ahead."