News release

Traves to Lead Independent Review of Business Incentives

The independent review of provincial economic development assistance programs to find ways to more effectively help businesses grow and compete and increase accountability and transparency has begun.

Tom Traves is leading the review of loans, loan guarantees, grants, equity and payroll rebates, and will make recommendations about how the government could better support economic growth. There will also be research on venture capital use.

The review was announced by Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson last month.

"Nova Scotians gave us a strong mandate to change the way the government supports business and moves our economy forward," said Mr. Samson. "Within a fair and competitive environment, entrepreneurs and businesses should have access to the capital they need to expand their operations and reinvest in their communities.

"Our interest is ensuring the province is providing the most appropriate programs and approaches to help them become more competitive, entrepreneurial and productive in the future."

Mr. Traves will conduct interviews with key groups, including business leaders. As the lead reviewer, he will work with Millier Dickinson Blais Inc., a leading economic development consulting firm based in Kingston, Ont., to gather research to help him make recommendations. The research will include a jurisdictional review, assessment of programming and best practices, and opportunities to improve transparency and accountability.

Mr. Traves, a former president of Dalhousie University, has sat on several corporate boards, been a member of the Innovacorp board of directors for the past 14 years, and was recently named to the Order of Canada.

He is expected to submit his final report and recommendations to the province by the end of February.

The province has hired Saint Mary's University Sobey School of Business and Gilles Duruflé, a leading Canadian expert, to conduct research on the impact of the province's venture capital investments.

Ellen Farrell, a lead researcher in early stage equity finance, will lead the Saint Mary's team. This review is expected to take about four months.

"I am confident we have the right people and resources in place for impartial and sound advice that will help the government and Nova Scotia businesses moving forward," said Mr. Samson.

The province will pay Mr. Traves about $40,000, Millier Dickinson Blais Inc., $67,000 and the Sobey School of Business and Gilles Duruflé Consulting $65,000.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Tom Traves is leading an independent review of provincial economic development assistance programs to find ways to more effectively help businesses to grow and compete and increase accountability and transparency.

The former Dalhousie University president is looking at loans, loan guarantees, grants, equity and payroll rebates, and will make recommendations about how the government could better support economic growth.

Mr. Traves will work with Ontario-based Millier Dickinson Blais Inc., a leading economic development consulting firm, to gather research that includes a jurisdictional review, an assessment of current programming and best practices, and opportunities to improve transparency and accountability.

Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson says he wants to ensure the province is providing the most appropriate programs and approaches to help business become more competitive, entrepreneurial and productive in the future.

The province has also hired Saint Mary's University Sobey School of Business to research the impact of venture capital investments.

Mr. Traves is expected to submit his final report and recommendations by the end of February.

-30-

Media Contacts:

Tina Thibeau
902-424-5836 E-mail:
Tom Traves
902-429-2057