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Corporate welfare specialists to honour corporate welfare recipients

by Blake Hunsley
Corporate welfare specialists to honour corporate welfare recipients

What can you get for $31,000?

Well, you could buy a mid‑sized sedan. In some isolated corners of the province, you can even buy a house, although admittedly not a very nice house. If you wanted, you could keep a single person out of poverty for a whole year on $31K. You can do a lot with that amount of cash, but I think we can all agree that the best use of it would be an awards ceremony to celebrate people who the government likes to lend money to.

On May 26, corporate welfare specialists Nova Scotia Business Incorporated (Laurel Broten, prop.) is hosting the 2016 N.S. Export Achievement Awards. While NSBI talking head Mel Rusinak couldn't tell me exactly how much the investment agency plans to spend honouring this year's 10 nominees, she did say it would be in the same range they spent last year, around $31K. And that's a helluva bargain, as we've already established.

This year's nominees are certainly worth celebrating. These are business folk that have worked hard to contribute to the local economy, people who have succeeded through nothing but hard work and determination. Er, and your money. People including but not limited to: Barry Gidney of Gidney Fisheries ($500K loan from ACOA, 2016); Donald Pothier of Eel Lake Oyster Farm ($90K loan from ACOA, 2015); John Risley of Clearwater Foods (er, we've lost track); Glynn Williams of Authentic Seacoast ($500K loan from ACOA, 2015), Douglas Park of Cedar Bay Grilling ($98K loan from ACOA, 2013), and of course the folks behind Pierce Fisheries (that'd be John Risley and Clearwater again).

With nothing but their sweat, blood, tears, generous interest-free government loans, and the odd family fortune (Wolfgang Thiel of Spa Springs Mineral Water), these upstanding entrepreneurs have made a real impact on our economy, and our communities. Shelling out money to fete them properly is literally the least we can do.

Tickets are currently available on the NSBI website, at a cost of $75/person. If you're in the mood to spend your own hard-earned cash to attend a publicly-funded celebration of companies the government has already lent your money to, you really can't go wrong.

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