Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter appears ready to approve a controversial untendered lease that was secured to move the provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture Department to the Annapolis Valley.
The premier had put the Cornwallis lease agreement on hold last week after opposition parties questioned whether the 10-year lease — which would cost $289,000 annually — was a wise use of public money.
According to an online property listing, the same building was recently sold to the non-profit Cornwallis Park Development Association for $162,500.
The Premier's office argues that the value of the property is far greater than the purchase price because the association is spending $1 million on upgrades.
Dexter told reporters he had reviewed the lease over the weekend.
"Over and above everything else I went up on the weekend to have a look directly at the lease space. I have had an opportunity to review the file," he said Monday.
"I'm waiting on just another piece of information but it seems to me that for the most part everything is in order."
The space is needed so the government can live up to its promise of moving 20 jobs with the provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture Department out of Halifax, to the library of the Lester B. Pearson International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Cornwallis.
The plan is for the new office to be shared with regional staff from the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Dexter promised to make the lease agreement public on Tuesday — one week later than when he originally said the information would be released.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said he wants to make up his own mind once he sees the information.
"Let's us have an opportunity to have a look at that," he said Monday.
"This premier said there's lots of things that look good to him and I would dare say there are a lot of Nova Scotians who don't agree with him."
Progressive Conservative MLA Chris d'Entremont said he's also keen to see the documents.
"This isn't fair to Nova Scotians. We can't take them for their word on this one. It's not the best deal that I can see," he said.
The provincial government is hoping to open the new Annapolis Valley office next summer.
The move is part of a government program to shift civil service jobs from Halifax to rural parts of the province.