POLITICS

Troubled RIM hasn't asked for any more government funding, says Nova Scotia

07/05/2012 05:37 EDT | Updated 09/04/2012 05:12 EDT
HALIFAX - Embattled smartphone maker Research in Motion hasn't asked Nova Scotia for any more money as it contends with faltering sales and eroding stock price, the province's economic development minister said Thursday.

Percy Paris told reporters the province has already given RIM millions of dollars over the past four years, and he's hopeful the company will continue to have a presence in Nova Scotia.

"I'm very pleased to have RIM in the province of Nova Scotia," he said. "They've been a good employer for hundreds of people in the province and I hope that they're going to be here for many years to come."

RIM, which has an office in the Halifax suburb of Bedford, said last week it would lay off about 5,000 employees globally as costs are slashed across the company.

It also shocked the market by delaying its BlackBerry 10 operating system, which was widely considered a last-ditch effort to save the company.

Chief executive Thorsten Heins said Tuesday he was confident the company would get past its challenges, insisting RIM isn't in a "death spiral."

Staff with the province's Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Department said Thursday that Nova Scotia has already handed $5 million to RIM for training and new equipment.

As well, RIM (TSX:RIM) was told in 2008 that it had the opportunity to get about $14 million in payroll rebates if it created 1,200 jobs in five years.

Now, in the fourth year of the program, RIM has created about 540 jobs.

As a result, the company has been handed $7.9 million in payroll rebates.

"RIM has not approached our department for other tools or incentives," Paris said.

Premier Darrell Dexter said the province had no plans to offer the company more incentives to keep the jobs in Nova Scotia.