Dieppe Mayor Yvon Lapierre says he now knows why Robert Irving decided to put a diaper plant in Moncton instead of his community.

Last week, CBC revealed confidential Moncton city council minutes that stated an $88,000 annual payment to the Irving-owned Moncton Wildcats was part of the deal to lure Irving Personal Care Ltd. to Moncton.

Irving diaper plant

Confidential Moncton city council minutes state the city pays $88,000 to Irving to locate a diaper plant in the city. (Marc Genuist/CBC)

The $60-million diaper manufacturing plant, which operates under J.D. Irving Ltd., was announced in 2003 and opened in 2004 in the Caledonia Industrial Park in Moncton.

Lapierre says the Irvings had shown some interest in setting up in Dieppe. But Lapierre figures the $88,000 annual payment from Moncton taxpayers must been been an offer the Irvings couldn't refuse.

"Maybe we now better understand why it went there given the information that is now available," said Lapierre.

The Dieppe mayor doesn't see any problem with municipalities negotiating deals with businesses.

"It's certainly my belief that municipalities who will benefit from the tax base that is being created should be allowed to make some form of contribution," he said.

However, Lapierre says once a deal is signed, the details should be made public.

"Whether it's municipal, provincial or federal, that they be up front with those kinds of enticements to bring and create jobs in our communities."

Lapierre can't understand why Moncton politicians have been hiding the subsidy to the Irvings.

"I have no idea why they would want to keep it a secret unless they felt there was something wrong with the process," he said.

Lapierre says he's not sure if Dieppe could have offered a similar deal to the Irvings. He says a lot of communities want the province to clarify the rules under which a municipality can give money to a business.

"We want to see the Municipalities Act clarified in that matter and there's been submissions made by the Association Francophone des Municipalities as well as the cities association and the Union of New Brunswick Municipalities that say this needs to be clarified."