TRURO – Two members of a three-person interim panel to oversee the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition have been selected, Agriculture Minister Keith Colwell says.
Bruce Kennedy, chairman of the former NSPE commission, will head up the interim panel while former vice-chairman Cameron MacEachen has been named as the second member.
Colwell told the Truro Daily News on Friday that he has also asked a third individual to serve on the panel and is awaiting a decision from a third person.
The province recently took possession of the NSPE facility and assets after the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board called in an outstanding $422,000 debt.
Colwell said while he has no authority to actually disband the former NSPE, its members no longer have a facility to manage.
And his plan is to appoint a three-person panel to oversee administration of the facility while the province undertakes a full financial audit.
And eventually, Colwell said a full-time manager with the proper credentials and marketing experience will also be hired to manage the facility and a smaller board then the previous commission will be appointed “so we can really get the facility on the map.”
That process, including the audit, could take up to a year to be fully complete, he said.
“It just takes time because we’re very, very cautious of how we are approaching this and we want to make sure it is going to work at the end of the day,”
The end goal, Colwell said, is to make the NSPE functional and profitable.
“This is not about what happens now, it’s about what happens in the next five and 10 and 20 years,” he said.
“We want to really make sure this facility is maintained as a provincial asset. But mainly to benefit the area, Truro, Bible Hill and the county around there. But it will be a major asset for the province and we want to make sure the place is run efficiently, accountably and it will be there for a long time in the future. That’s our goal and we’re moving toward that goal,” he said.
“I want to give Mr. Kennedy a lot of credit and Mr. MacEachen a lot of credit for the work they are doing in the interim until we get that up and functional.”