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Province spends more than $60,000 trying to sell golf courses


Mill River golf course is shown in a photo by Golf Links P.E.I.

Tourism Minister Robert Henderson said the money wasn’t out of line with what would be spent on other negotiations of that size.

“Obviously if you’re in any kind of discussion you need to retain legal counsel, you need to have advice in making sure that you are doing the proper due diligence in selling such a valuable asset,” he said.

In 2012, the provincial government advertised the sale of the Brudenell River, the Links at Crowbush Cove, Dundarave and Mill River golf courses.

The province brings in about $4 million a year from the golf courses, but still loses money.

Through a freedom of information request, The Guardian asked for all costs related to the provincial government’s attempts to sell the provincially owned golf courses dating back to Jan. 1, 2012.

The response listed $43,210.30 in costs to law firm Carr, Stevenson and MacKay between January 2012 and July 2014.

Another $12,400 went to Coldwater Consulting in March for a coastal assessment at Crowbush and staff spent $1,025.56 on travel to meet with a consultant and potential buyers between June 2013 and February 2014.

Although it wasn’t included in the response, the Tourism Department also confirmed it spent $3,865.68 on an ad it ran in the Globe and Mail on July 18, 2012 to advertise the sale.

Henderson said the coastal assessment will be useful for anyone who owns or operates Crowbush and looked at potential future scenarios for the area, such as erosion or salt water infiltration.

“It’s information that we felt was important to have one way or the other.”

The province is looking for someone to manage, lease or buy the golf courses and most of the interest has been around Crowbush and Mill River.

A potential deal on Crowbush fell through earlier this year, but Henderson said talks are still ongoing on a deal for Mill River.

“We’re in no reason to rush these out based on the value of the property and the importance that they are to both taxpayers and the public in Prince Edward Island,” he said.

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