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Trade centre info leak irritates Estabrooks

Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks would not confirm theprovince will be asked to give $57 million for the proposed tradecentre on Argyle Street.

Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks would not confirm the province will be asked to give $57 million for the proposed trade centre on Argyle Street.

But he said he was “disappointed” that a member of his own party revealed the number to the press.

“You take information as a cabinet minister in good faith to your caucus,” he said yesterday, after being informed MLA Howard Epstein went on record with the numbers.

“That’s not what caucus responsibility is all about ... that’s unacceptable for Mr. Epstein to make those comments public.”

The Coast reported late yesterday that the province and the municipality will be asked to cover $57 million each, with the federal government kicking in the remaining $46 million of the public share.

The province had intended to release the price tag, along with their shadow bid, by the end of the month. But Estabrooks said last Thursday that deadline may be extended into October.

Epstein, a vocal critic of the proposed trade centre, said he did not intend to release the number; it just slipped out during a long conversation with the reporter.

“It actually just slipped out inadvertently,” he said.

“I wasn’t meaning to blow the whistle specifically on the number.”

 
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