Announcement coming on Opacmare

Ryan Ross
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Allen Roach

An announcement is coming soon about the shuttered Opacmare manufacturing facility, says Innovation Minister Al Roach.

Roach said had numerous responses to its request for expressions of interest in purchasing the company’s property in Pooles Corner.

“Over the last number of weeks that has kind of settled in and we hope to be making an announcement about the purchase of the property at Pooles Corner and the type of work that will be taking place there in the future,” he said.

The issue came up during Thursday’s question period as opposition MLAs targeted several high-profile government announcements that were supposed to create hundreds of job, but have yet to deliver.

They included Italian yacht component manufacturer Opacmare that was supposed to create 100 positions at its plant in Pooles Corner but only had a small fraction of that number of jobs before shutting down.

In an interview, Roach said he couldn’t get into the specifics of what type of business could move into the facility.

Although Opacmare hasn’t been out of Pooles Corner, the company is still operating in Italy and while Roach said he didn’t know how much was outstanding on its loan, the company has been making all of its loan payments.

“There’s been nothing defaulted on with respect to Opacmare at all,” he said.

The opposition also questioned how much money the government was giving Indian tech firm Mphasis with Opposition Leader Olive Crane saying the province budgeted $9.3 million.

Mphasis came to P.E.I. with the expectation it would create 300 jobs with labour rebates from the province.

Roach said there are about 12 jobs in P.E.I. so far, but the company is still setting up its business and on track for its job creation commitment.

“They’re a solid company for sure,” he said.

The money included in the budget for Mphasis was earmarked for labour rebates, Roach said.

“If they don’t employ 300 people those numbers won’t work up.”

Another company the opposition targeted was Phyterra Yeast, which moved into a facility in Summerville, with help from the provincial and federal governments.

That help included a $2 million loan from the province and $1 million in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Phyterra has since shut down its operations and plans to sell the building.

Roach said an Island company has expressed interest in the property, although he wouldn’t say which company it was.

“They seem to have a good business case so we’re looking forward to working with them,” he said.

The province also has first mortgage rights on the Summerville facility, Roach said.

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Recent comments

  • Wayne MacKinnon
    November 23, 2012 - 08:06

    I agree with everything Cut Out The Graft stated above except for one statement; "your department can go away and nobody would notice." The taxpayers of PEI would certainly notice the abrupt end to all the hemorrhaging of their tax dollars and the big fat cheque in the mail at income tax time.

  • John W.A. Curtis
    November 23, 2012 - 07:09

    Time for a public inquiry into Innovations P.E.I. They are as incompetent as those who wanted a rock concert for Summerside

  • Chester L
    November 23, 2012 - 04:30

    The View From Martinvale..............nothing personal here but confused!! 1. I met with this guy twice on 2 issues never heard back since now 2 years. 2. How did he get elected if he creates so much negativity when he comments and why does his statements sound so bland....never any subustance......... 3. I felt sure in the beginning that he would be an asset as a retired RCMP officer and Marine Insurance Rep......but I was wrong, so wrong............. 4. One more term, make sure he gets elected for the " Golden parachute " so he will stand in line for the " Pension"....only need 2 terms so give him what ne needs to weather the retirement......Could not even handle the EI confusion could only blame Hon Gail Shea................oops forgot ........his boss is the Premier............Whew.....Ok now it makes problem........I was worried for a while!!.

  • Justine Thyme
    November 23, 2012 - 00:10

    Did we not have first mortgage rights on the Grand hotel? And how did that work out for us?

  • fifth floor
    November 22, 2012 - 22:59

    Man what a mistake people made with this guy ..Fits right in with the Premiers arrogance ,,,Guess that would be why he has the job hes got. Bet he is not down at Tims now making jokes about shaking hands and kissing babies..Rumor has it that he doesnt have time for all his buddies who voted him in ,,Hes to busy making important announcements!!!!!!

  • Gerard W
    November 22, 2012 - 22:15

    Could Islanders please have an Progress report of the BIG company from India that Robert Ghiz was so excited about after his trip to India that are going to employ 300 staff. and is there any results or inquiries about the Ann of Green Gables books that Ghiz took to give out to Indian children when he was there, the books were paid for by US the taxpayer.???????????????????

  • inga
    November 22, 2012 - 19:46

    an other great big secret, --- Roach will not 'have the figures' on this', --mighty decent of him not to keep abreast of his portfolio, --newsflash, - keep a note in your pocket, just in case the media asks for numbers, --- it would make you look less clueless, --- just a thought.

  • bob
    November 22, 2012 - 18:57

    Word on the street in G'town is they will be manufacturing parts for the Halifax. Good on them if that's the case

  • selling
    November 22, 2012 - 16:44

    Selling it I expect for a few dollars to some company and then they will give taxpayer money to the new company so the new company can hire a few people for a few months before it folds. Then the govt can say they increased jobs.

  • cut out the graft
    November 22, 2012 - 16:23

    Here's a thought for Mr. Roach. Why not stop all of the economic development grants and loans, shut down his entire department, lay off all of the staff, and shut down all the subsidiary Crown corporations and all the other tentacles that have grown onto this beast over the years. Then put all of those savings of several hundred million a year into reducing the tax rate for small businesses with less than 20 people in PEI ? These businesses are mostly owned by Islanders who aren't going to pack up and leave for another place. They pay their employees good wages and will likely hire more if the tax rate is reduced. How's that for a thought Mr. Roach? What exactly are your specific qualifications to be a minister of innovation & economic development anyway? And what were your predecessors' qualifications? In other words, your department can go away and nobody would notice.

  • Dufferdon
    November 22, 2012 - 15:40

    Another failure.