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The New Brunswick government defended its providing payroll rebate to Salesforce.com Inc. even as the California-based cloud computing company announced it was cutting a third of its workforce in the province.

The provincial government has to invest in the private sector and the incentive program is needed in order to attract companies and keep jobs in the province, said New Brunswick Energy Minister Craig Leonard.

Salesforce acquired Saint John, N.B.-based social media monitoring tool developer, Radian 6 in 2011. However in October that year, the company laid off 100 workers globally some four months after Salesforce (NYSE:CRM) announced it would create 300 new full-time jobs in Fredericton and San John with the help of a $3.8 million payroll rebate from the New Brunswick government.

Last week, Salesforce confirmed that it was once more shedding some 200 jobs. Approximately one-third of the employees impacted by the latest round retrenchment are located in New Brunswick.

Leonard said New Brunswick’s payroll rebates are only paid out if jobs remain in place. He said the government will not lose any money if Salesforce cuts positions located in the province.

Salesforce paid more than $300 million for Radian 6 whose technology tracks social media conversations from sites such as FaceBook, LinkedIn and Twitter.Radian6’s technology.

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