11/06/2012 19:41 EST | Updated 01/06/2013 05:12 EST

P.E.I. releases list of PNP recipients

The P.E.I. government has released the list of companies that received investment from immigrants under the Provincial Nominee Program.

On Friday the P.E.I. Supreme Court overturned a decision by the freedom of information and protection of privacy commissioner, ruling that the CBC was entitled to the list of names.

The commissioner had also denied a CBC request that the number of units each company had received be released. The court upheld that ruling.

In a news release, the government said it was complying with the court ruling. Innovation Minister Allen Roach defended the immigrant partner program and the companies that were involved in it.

"The businesses listed account for about one-quarter of all Island businesses," said Roach.

"The Provincial Nominee Program is an economic program used by all provinces and territories to boost a province’s economy and support local businesses. More than 1,300 Island businesses received investment through the Provincial Nominee Program, who in turn invest in the Island economy."

The release notes that Island Investment Development Incorporated, the government agency that oversaw PNP, conferred with companies that received immigrant investment and the vast majority of them "expressed concern around the disclosure of the information requested."

Supreme Court Justice Wayne Cheverie ruled there was no evidence that the companies would suffer harm by having their names released.

A note from the auditor general to IIDI, dated Tuesday, notes that 1,423 businesses were approved for investment through PNP. For various reasons some of those companies did not receive money. The list includes the 1,354 companies that did.

The provincial auditor general estimates that the Provincial Nominee Program was worth $120 million to the Island economy.

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