JDI and Cooke Aquaculture Among Big Beneficiaries of ACOA Money

One of Cooke Aquaculture’s automated feed delivery systems near Digby, Nova Scotia. Image: Submitted   Dec 11, 2017 by The Canadian Press

HALIFAX — J.D. Irving Limited and Cooke Aquaculture are among the businesses that have benefitted from financial help from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in its 30-year history.

The agency was started in 1987 by then-Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. $10 billion and 56,000 grants and loans later, the former prime minister’s vision of a revitalized Atlantic Canadian economy.

Big winners

  • Atlantic Wallboard LP, a division of J.D. Irving Limited: $42.4 million in conditionally repayable loans from 2006 to 2012 to build a gypsum wallboard manufacturing plant, buy equipment and for a gypsum conversion project.
  • The Halifax International Security Forum, organized the German Marshall Fund of the United States, a D.C.-based public policy think tank: $29.78 million in grants to host the international conference from 2009 to 2018.
  • Cooke Aquaculture Inc., Cold Ocean Salmon Inc. and Kelly Cove Salmon Ltd. (divisions of Cooke Aquaculture): $25 million in loans, conditionally repayable loans and non-repayable contributions for multiple projects over more than a decade, including establishing salmon farming operations.
  • Michelin North America (Canada) Inc.: $10 million loan for manufacturing equipment in 2006.
  • Cabot Links at Inverness LP: $6.5 million in loans from 2008 to 2016 to build golf courses and a resort.
  • DSME Trenton Ltd. (now permanently closed): $5 million loan for equipment to build wind towers in 2010.
  • Rolls-Royce Canada: $2.87 million conditionally repayable loan in 2013 to develop support technologies for unmanned surface vehicles.
  • Craft brew and spirits

    • Authentic Seacoast Distilling Company Ltd.: $500,000 loan in 2015 to establish a craft distillery and expand brewery.
    • Big Axe Brewery Inc.: $363,030 loan in 2017 to expand current brewery operation.
    • Prince Edward Island Brewing Company Ltd.: $350,000 loan in 2012 to start a microbrewery, and $35,000 grant to hire an experienced beer industry expert.

    Tiny tourism outfits

    • Marble Zip Tours Inc.: $196,487 loan to establish a “zipline harness tour” operation in 2007 and $125,000 loan in 2013 to build a rope challenge course.
    • Ocean Surf Ltd.: $38,500 loan in 2011 and $175,000 loan in 2015 to upgrade campground facilities.
    • Club Wind and Kite: $45,000 loan to start a kite surfing day adventure in Lameque, N.B., in 2008.


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