By Darrell Cole
SPRINGHILL - Springhill Mayor Allen Dill is continuing to fume at the NDP government for abandoning his community by overturning a decision to build a new jail in the former mining town.
Dill said an economic impact analysis completed by Canmac Economics Ltd. proves Springhill is going to suffer from the Justice Department's decision to cancel a planned $18-million jail near the federal prison on the Black River Road.
"The analysis proves what we've been saying all along. It certainly compromises the ability of a small rural community like Springhill to be sustainable," Dill said in response to the Canmac study completed by the Halifax are consulting firm for Cumberland County's five municipal units. Dill said the new jail would have given the province an opportunity to assist Springhill with the implementation of its energy strategy and would have created a lot of jobs.
The decision not to build a new jail has the potential to cost more than $9 million in direct and indirect costs.
"I'm looking for the government to bring back that kind of economic development to Cumberland County," Dill said. "We have to press them on this or be prepared to pick up and move to New Brunswick or Halifax."
As well, Dill said, the thought the province is spending more than $60 million in Pictou County while abandoning Cumberland County shows just how much the premier thinks of Springhill.
"They're spending between $60 million and $70 million in Pictou County to save jobs when their jail decision is only going to save $1.7 million a year," Dill said. "It sort of shows where their priorities are. I just can't get my head around this."
The province has already sunk $60 million into a $90-million deal that will see Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Inc. manufacture wind turbine components at the former TrentonWorks factory in Trenton.
Dill said if the government is prepared to invest that kind of money in Pictou County, it should be prepared to invest in Cumberland County.
By Darrell Cole