Millions of dollars in revenue would leave Nova Scotia if McNeil government privatizes registries

September 15, 2015

(Halifax, NS) The McNeil government’s sell-off of provincial registries would mean the loss of millions of dollars in revenue from provincial coffers says NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald. She says a company like Teranet, which is actively lobbying the McNeil government to purchase the land registry, stands to reap big profits at the expense of Nova Scotia taxpayers.

“At the moment registries bring in close to $100 million in annual profits, profits we can ill afford to ship out of the province to a private company,” says MacDonald. “If you look at what has happened in Ontario in recent years with Teranet, you’ll see they’ve closed offices, they’ve cut services, and they’ve started charging for things that were previously free. This means millions of dollars in lost revenue that won’t be used to fund things like hospitals, roads and schools.”

In 2008, hawkish financial commentator Kevin O’Leary praised Teranet as an investment opportunity in a Globe & Mail article stating, “I am intoxicated by the beauty of this company’s business model; it’s a monopoly and the closest you will get to perfection when it comes to an investment.” He went on to add that “if you are a (Teranet) shareholder you get paid and paid and paid” because companies like Teranet typically earn a 7% on every dollar they invest.

“I almost never agree with Kevin O’Leary but in this case he’s right,” says MacDonald. “The privatization of Nova Scotia registries would earn private shareholders a lot of money at the expense of Nova Scotians and their public services. This would be the biggest corporate handout since the Conservatives privatized Nova Scotia Power in the 1990s.”