Saint John will ask province to repeal Canaport LNG's tax deal
City council votes 7-2 in favour of asking the province to repeal Canaport LNG's property tax deal
The City of Saint John will ask the provincial government to repeal a special property tax deal for the Canaport LNG terminal.
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- Irving made millions off deal to slash taxes on LNG property
Coun. Shirley McAlary started the debate by introducing a motion to ask the provincial government to repeal the controversial property tax deal given to the Canaport LNG terminal.
"We've got to start where we have to start," said McAlary.
"And that's with the province of New Brunswick."
In 2005, the provincial government created special legislation to facilitate the tax deal after an endorsement by the city council.
Norm McFarlane, the former Saint John mayor, told councillors he had been assured construction of the terminal could not proceed without the arrangement.
A report to council on Monday by John Nugent, the city solicitor, said the terms of a lease arrangement, in which Irving Oil would collect $12 million US per year from the Canaport LNG partnership, were likely not known at the time of the previous council vote.
"One must conclude that the Irving interests made no representation as to their anticipated financial benefit from the project, to either the mayor or common council," said the report.
"There's a time for giving and there's a time when you can't give any more," said Coun. John MacKenzie.
"And we're at a time when where we need every nickel we can get."
The motion passed by a vote of seven to two.
Copies of the motion are to be sent to Premier Brian Gallant, cabinet ministers Ed Doherty and Rick Doucet, and to Local Government Minister Brian Kenny.