Government extends additonal $86m to MaRS

The Liberal government of Ontario plans to extend $86 million in additional financial support to the MaRS (medical and related sciences) technology research and business hub in downtown Toronto even as the province’s auditor general labelled as “high-risk” an earlier $224 million loan to the place.

The most recent line of credit bring Ontario’s contribution to the facility to $395 million.

Ontario’s Liberal government is planning to extend a further $86-million in financial support to the struggling MaRS tower after a pair of experts recommended the province go ahead with its plan to buy out a U.S. developer’s stake in the project.

The newly announced line of credit for the non-profit innovation hub brings the province’s total contribution to $395-million.

The Liberal government is buying out a United States developer’s stake in MaRS.

A panel made up of Michael Nobrega, former chief executive officer of Ontario Municipal Employees retirement System and Carol Stephenson, retired dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business backed the government’s buyout plans.

The two recommended that a new line of credit be extended to MaRS to cover $21 million of an earlier government loan, $15 million in operating cost and $55 million to cover the cost of preparing space for tenants.

That is on top of $224-million Infrastructure Ontario has already lent to MaRS and the $65-million cost of buying out the private developer.

In a 595-page annual report before the Ontario legislature this week, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk called a $224 million Infrastructure Ontario loan to MaRS, “high risk.”

She said Infrastructure Ontario’s use of private-public partnerships cost $8 billion more than traditional public financing.

Read the whole story here

Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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