Let private firms shoulder risk in choosing ports to expand in Nova Scotia:study

A new study says the Nova Scotia and federal governments should shy away from putting public cash into new port infrastructure in the province.

The document, paid for by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the province's Transportation Department, describes challenges faced by the Port of Halifax and proposed container port facilities in the Strait of Canso and in Sydney.

It says a large public investment would be ``risky,'' and that private-sector stakeholders should determine which projects go forward.

The report by CPCS consultants continues to highlight challenges - also raised in a previous report published in 2016 - faced by the Novaporte development at the Port of Sydney, such as the lack of railway access and the possibility of ice in the harbour.

However, the 48-page document obtained by The Canadian Press also notes both the Sydney site and the Melford proposal in the Canso Strait could handle large vessels for which Halifax may not have the capacity.

The report is dated March 23 of this year, and has been circulated to the province, the federal government and container port proponents and port authorities.