Cullen slams Ridley sale announcement as short-sighted and secretive

 

PRINCE RUPERT – The federal government’s announcement last Thursday that it is looking for a private buyer for its Ridley Terminals Inc. is as short-sighted and perilous to Canadians today as a similar failed bid by the Harper Conservatives in 2012, MP Nathan Cullen said.

“It’s frustrating that taxpayers poured a quarter-billion dollars into Ridley to keep this asset afloat in the lean times, but now that Ridley is generating healthy profits and a berth expansion is in the works, the Liberals arbitrarily seize on this as a time to sell.

“The truth is, the Prime Minister wants a fire sale to pay for his out-of-control deficit spending – like tens of billions on snail’s pace infrastructure projects and the cost of the Phoenix federal payroll debacle that now surpasses $1B.

Cullen noted the hypocrisy of the Trudeau Liberals, who continue to enthusiastically brand the Port of Prince Rupert as a “Pacific Gateway” to help Canada access exploding Asian markets, in shopping Ridley out to private buyers.

“The Liberals, like the Conservatives before them, are single-handedly trying to sell off a federal Crown corporation that is finally consistently posting healthy profits after having millions of tax dollars poured into it.

 “The Prime Minister has offered no evidence that Northwest interests have even been considered in yet another shakedown of Canadian resources and assets.” 

Cullen dismissed reports of behind-the-scenes government engagement with six area Indigenous nations on a competitive sale process for Ridley as too secretive.

“Indigenous consultation is obviously required from both legal and social licence perspectives but let’s get these negotiations out in the open, in the full light of day, so that all residents understand the proposals and parameters.

“Only then can Northwest residents and Canadian taxpayers make an informed decision about whether selling this public asset, so vital to our regional and national economies, is a good or a bad idea.”

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Contact: Shelley Browne, 250-877-4140; nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca