More than $1 million in taxpayers' money is being spent on a luxury golf resort near Louisbourg, despite earlier assurances that no government funding would be used for the development.
Entreprise Cape Breton Corporation, a Crown corporation, confirms to CBC News that it has given CBI Developers a $750,000 non-repayable contribution for its sewer system and a $500,000 repayable loan for marketing.
The funding boost for the Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa was never announced publicly or posted on the ECBC website.
"When we announced the project, it was stated that there was no government funding money involved, which was absolutely the truth at that time," said Henric Bauermeister, with CBI Developers.
"Then we had been contacted by politicians and by government organizations and they said, 'If you guys want to talk, we can talk and sit down.' "
Bauermeister said ownership of the sewage and water systems will be turned over to the Cape Breton Regional Municipality once they are completed.
The $300-million development was announced in December 2006 to about 300 people crowded into a hall in Louisbourg. It was described as the biggest private investment ever in tourism in Cape Breton, with government leaders saying it would involve no government money.
The resort, being built on more than 1,000 hectares, will include up to 400 luxury homes ranging in price from $400,000 to more than $1 million. A spa and conference centre are among the other features.
The centrepiece of the development will be an 18-hole golf course designed by golfer Nick Faldo.
Bauermeister said his group has sold or has deposits on nearly 30 homes, mainly from people in Europe who are looking for a second home. With home assessments up to $1 million, he said, the resort will be making a large contribution to the local tax base.