The provincial government will release Rank Inc.’s proposal for a new downtown trade centre early next week, Premier Darrell Dexter told reporters Thursday.

The release of the proposal will finally confirm the amount of public funding being requested by the developer for the proposed 1.4-million-square-foot building.

It was revealed this week by NDP MLA Howard Epstein that the public would be on the hook for $160 million — although Dexter and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Bill Estabrooks repeatedly refused to confirm the figure.

But Dexter said Epstein’s slip to the media, which Epstein has since apologized for, had nothing to do with the decision to release the proposal.

“The plan to release information and to brief other interested parties as quickly as we can has always been the plan,” he said. “This has no relation to (Epstein) whatsoever.”

Dexter said he hopes to release the information prior to next Thursday’s caucus meeting — meaning in advance of any decision from the province to decide whether to fund the project or not.

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