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New Corporation to Operate Halifax Convention Centre
April 23, 2014

The provincial government and Halifax Regional Municipality will establish a corporation to manage and operate the new Halifax Convention Centre.

The Halifax Convention Centre Act, introduced today, April 23, requires the two levels of government to jointly appoint a board of directors.

"The new board, and the experience and expertise of the Trade Centre staff, will ensure we are ready to welcome thousands of new visitors to Halifax and our province, boosting tourism, business and revenue," said Michel Samson, Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism.

"This legislation describes our formal partnership, and how the new convention centre will be managed going forward, accountable to all Nova Scotians."

Once in place, the board will set and implement the strategic direction for the corporation.

Trade Centre Ltd. is the Crown corporation that currently runs the World Trade and Convention Centre and is marketing the new centre. The new legislation allows Trade Centre Ltd. employees to move to the Halifax Convention Centre Corporation.

"This is welcome news that brings us one step closer to launching the new Halifax Convention Centre," said Halifax Regional Municipality Mayor Mike Savage. "Two years ago, council affirmed its commitment to a new convention centre through an agreement with the province. Today's announcement establishes a responsible, competency-based governance structure which will serve the municipality and the province well."

The legislation also requires reporting to the provincial government and Halifax Regional Municipality, including annual audited financial statements. A report on the effectiveness and competitiveness of the centre's operations, including a third-party evaluation, will also be submitted every five years.

The new convention centre is scheduled to open in 2016.

Nineteen organizations have already committed to bringing national and international conferences when the new Halifax Convention Centre opens. This is expected to attract nearly 15,000 visitors to the province. The municipal, provincial and federal governments are partnering on the construction of the new convention centre.

"Positioning Halifax for further growth, to strengthen our community and our economy are key priorities for the federal government," said Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. "We are proud to be contributing to the construction and development of the Halifax Convention Centre, a significant piece of infrastructure in the heart of our great city, which will help build stronger communities, allow us to share our Nova Scotian hospitality with the world, all the while creating jobs right here, to benefit our long-term prosperity."

The government of Canada is providing Nova Scotia with $175 million through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund to fund infrastructure priorities throughout the province, such as the new convention centre. In total, Nova Scotia plans to use over $51 million of that allocation towards the construction of the centre.