Nova Scotia

Moore slams province over Bluenose II tax

More than half of the $1.4 million in assets being transferred from the volunteer-run Bluenose II Preservation Trust to a province-run foundation would go to the federal government in taxes, Nova Scotia Senator Wilfred Moore said Friday.
A federal tax rule has derailed a transfer deal for the Bluenose II preservation trust fund. (Nova Scotia Webcam)

More than half of the $1.4 million in assets being transferred from the volunteer-run Bluenose II Preservation Trust to a province-run foundation would go to the federal government in taxes, Nova Scotia Senator Wilfred Moore said Friday.

The transfer was announced last December.

"We'd have to write a cheque for $700,000 to the federal government. We're not going to do that," Moore said.

As chair of the trust, Moore is in charge of a Bluenose II store in Lunenburg, related intellectual rights and $700,000 in cash.

He said that federal tax rules state that when transferring funds to a new trust, Canada Revenue Agency takes half.

"That's not why people gave us funds, to have us give it to the federal government."

Negotiations to dissolve the trust, a volunteer organization chaired by Moore, have stretched over several years.

"[It's] a lot of money," he said. "It seems to me that this organization building the new ship could use that."

Moore criticized the province for resisting a volunteer-run board. He said if the new foundation was taken out of provincial control, and a volunteer board was appointed, the federal tax would not be an issue.

"This could have been solved months ago and I don't know why they're stalling and trying to twist it around," he said.

"For some reason, the government doesn't want to have a group of volunteers doing what we were doing and I don't know why. I don't care who is on that board. I've done my bit."

David Wilson, Minister of Community, Culture and Heritage, said his department wants to analyze the situation further before it acts.

"Our department has been looking at what we could do to ensure the transfer happens, [including] possible legislation," he said.

"I want to work with the trust to ensure we come to a resolution to their issues."

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