BIBLE HILL, N.S.
An announcement is expected in the near future about renewed provincial government involvement with the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Commission (NSPEC), the Truro Daily News has learned.
Although Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell is not commenting, he was recently in Bible Hill to meet with a number of local officials, including some members of the NSPEC board, general manager Joe Nicholson, the CEO of the Farm Loan Board as well as the mayors of Colchester County and Truro and the chairwoman of the Bible Hill Village Commission.
“The Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition is an important organization for the agriculture sector and for the economy in the region and province,” Colwell said this week, in an emailed response to questions.
“We are working with the exhibition. However, we have nothing to announce at this time."
Truro Mayor Bill Mills acknowledged attending the Dec. 14 meeting, at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus but said he didn’t wish to discuss details.
“I was informed ...by the Minister of Agriculture Keith Colwell, so we left it with them to inform the public of decisions that the province has made,” Mills said.
“I’m expecting some kind of an announcement to be made soon. And from where I sit I think it’s not a bad decision.”
Colchester Mayor Christine Blair also acknowledged she was at the meeting but said she is not at liberty to discuss details.
Neither NSPE board chairman Stu Rath nor general manager Joe Nicholson could be reached for comment.
Other sources, however, have told the Daily News the province plans to once again assume control of the board, as it did in February 2014.
At that time, the NSPEC was $1 million in debt, including nearly $422,000 it owed to the farm loan board. Colwell called in that outstanding loan and had his department assume possession of the NSPEC properties and assets.
The minister later introduced provincial legislation to create a new board structure commission aimed at clarifying its corporate objectives.
Although no figures were immediately available, the commission’s financial picture has improved and it is reportedly running in the black.