Luxury golf resort owners must show their work when demanding millions of tax dollars

Author: Paige MacPherson 2019/07/18

HALIFAX, NS: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the owners of the Cabot Links golf resort to show taxpayers their full “business case” and release the details of the multi-million-dollar request for taxpayers’ money to pay for a new airport.

“We’ve all seen this movie before: wealthy business owners want to fund their own pet projects by milking taxpayers and claim it’s for the common good,” said CTF Atlantic Director Paige MacPherson. “The owners of Cabot Links say they have a ‘business case’ for a taxpayer-funded airport, but why won’t they release the details? It takes a special kind of gall to demand millions from taxpayers without showing the math.”

The owners of the Cabot golf resort in Inverness are lobbying the governments in Ottawa and Halifax to fund an $18-million-dollar airport to shorten the commutes of some resort patrons. The group released a five-page version of its “business case” with numerous claims of spinoff benefits, but the group does not specify where these numbers came from.

The group’s website states that the five-page “business case” summarizes a longer study authored by the golf course and consultants. The public relations consultant behind the campaign for the taxpayer-funded airport told media that the full study would not be made public.

There are two existing airports within a one-to-two-hour drive from the Cabot golf resort.

“We understand that these executives would rather have government rubber stamp the funding without informing the regular people who will be forced to pay for it, but that’s not how respectful interactions work,” said MacPherson. “If their consultant-crunched numbers are rock solid, why not make them public?”

The golf course owners are paying for Google advertisements and full-page newspaper ads to promote the campaign for tax dollars to be spent servicing their luxury resort.

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation launched a petition calling on Premier Stephen McNeil and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to say no to using tax dollars on a luxury golf course airport. It can be viewed here.