Tories claim Dexter misled Nova Scotians on jail - Metro US

Tories claim Dexter misled Nova Scotians on jail

The Progressive Conservatives claim they have documents proving Premier Darrell Dexter misled Nova Scotians.

In December the Tories frequently attacked Dexter for cancelling their proposed new Springhill jail in favour of somewhere more central.

The NDP said the move would save $5 million in construction costs and $1.7 million annually.

Rivals accused the premier of breaking his election promise to honour Tory commitments.

But in a scrum Dexter said there was no commitment because the Tories hadn’t set money aside.

Yesterday Conservatives produced a cost sheet attained through a freedom of information request that shows $6 million allocated for the jail this year and $12 million next year.

“This rock solid evidence proves that our government had the money in place to build that facility and that the premier misled the people of Cumberland County and, for that matter, all Nova Scotians,” said Tory MLA Murray Scott.

On December 10, the Premier was asked about whether he was breaking a Tory commitment.

“Let’s be clear, the only commitment (is) if you’ve actually put in place the funding to carry through on the project and that never happened with this.

“This was a political announcement,” he said.

“They may have put in some money with respect to the purchase of things like land clearing or something like that, but there was no money in that budget for the building of the facility.”

Justice Minister Ross Landry defended the premier yesterday, saying that while there was a budget line for the jail, the Tories hadn’t done any kind of business plan.

“Our understanding was that the money was never within (the department of) justice.

“It was a cost-line on a projection … but there was no specific budget with a business case to support the expenditure,” Landry said.

Landry said the Springhill option was too expensive and would not be a responsible use of taxpayer dollars.

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