Cash in­fu­sion

Gov­ern­ment ap­proves $540K loan to Trout River In­dus­tries

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - BY TERESA WRIGHT

A P.E.I. com­pany that used Premier Wade MacLauch­lan’s voice in a com­mer­cial ad­ver­tise­ment has been ap­proved for a $540,000 provin­cial loan.

In late De­cem­ber, cab­i­net ap­proved the loan to Trout River In­dus­tries from Is­land In­vest­ment De­vel­op­ment Inc.

Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Min­is­ter Heath MacDonald says the prov­ince wants to see Is­land com­pa­nies like this one grow and pros­per, and is happy to help with its lend­ing agency.

“We’re com­mit­ted to the suc­cess of Is­land com­pa­nies and en­trepreneurs and es­pe­cially Trout River. It’s in ru­ral P.E.I., it em­ploys up to 80 peo­ple and it’s in a very im­por­tant sec­tor for us.”

MacDonald noted P.E.I. has led the coun­try in ex­ports and had strong man­u­fac­tur­ing sales fig­ures. He says this is due in part to sup­port from gov­ern­ment’s loan port­fo­lio.

“I think it’s very im­por­tant to the econ­omy of P.E.I. and it’s im­por­tant that we con­tinue to do it,” he said.

Trout River In­dus­tries made head­lines last fall af­ter Premier Wade MacLauch­lan voiced an ad­ver­tise­ment for the com­pany.

Op­po­si­tion MLA Steven My­ers raised con­cern about a pos­si­ble con­flict of in­ter­est with the premier ac­tively pro­mot­ing com­pa­nies that re­ceive gov­ern­ment money.

Trout River In­dus­tries has been the ben­e­fi­ciary of other gov­ern­ment as­sis­tance in the past.

But MacDonald says the de­ci­sion to ap­prove this loan was based on Trout River In­dus­tries’ busi­ness plan and prospects.

“Any­time you have a premier lend his voice to a com­pany, I think — wow, he’s try­ing to pro­mote P.E.I. as a whole. He’d likely do it for any­body, for that mat­ter,” MacDonald added.

A spokes­woman for the premier’s of­fice says the loan went first through trea­sury board and then to cab­i­net, where it was ap­proved by con­sen­sus.

The loan is a five-year term loan, amor­tized over five years at four per cent in­ter­est. The money will be used for equip­ment pur­chases.


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