December 2, 2014
For immediate release
Settlement reached between Province of Prince Edward Island and Ocean Choice International
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“We are pleased that this long standing issue has been resolved,” said Minister Roach. “Through this settlement, we are making way for the plant assets to be properly maintained and put back into use.”
OCI began operating the plant in Souris in 2004. In a deal with OCI, the previous government agreed to not issue any further processing licenses or support to other lobster processors in the province for a period of 10 years. The plant was closed in the spring of 2011, citing operational losses as the reason. During that time, OCI obtained an unsecured loan from the provincial government, of which $9,750,000 is still outstanding. Under the terms of the out-of-court settlement, the provincial government will recover $1.5 million.
“Legal advice obtained by the department said the case between OCI and the provincial government could take years to resolve and could result in millions of dollars in legal costs with an uncertain outcome,” said Minister Roach. “By reaching an out-of-court settlement, we are making way for a new initiative that will put the former OCI facility back into use.”
Minister Roach said a further announcement will be made on Wednesday with the Souris Harbour Authority with respect to the facility.
“We look forward to working with the Souris Harbour Authority to help bring jobs and other economic benefits to the people of the Souris area,” said Mr. Roach.