Premier Says No Taxpayer Dollars Lost Due To Sears Closures

Posted on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 14:18 PM

With word that Sears has applied for court approval to liquidate all of its remaining stores, hundreds of employees in New Brunswick are wondering what they will do next.

Almost 600 people will be out of work, once the two remaining stores in New Brunswick and two call centres close their doors.

One of those call centres, located in Saint John, just opened in April.

We asked Premier Brian Gallant what happens with the up to $4.3 million in payroll rebates and loans that was to be provided by Opportunities New Brunswick, "Business actually has to create the jobs and have the jobs for a certain period of time before they get any of the financial incentives, so you may have seen opportunities New Brunswick has not dispersed anything when it came to the payroll rebates, because the jobs were not created for a long enough period."

He adds, there are never any guarantees when it comes to attracting businesses to the province, "You can also look at all of the businesses that have been given these financial incentives and created hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of jobs for New Brunswickers.  Obviously,  there are going to be some stories where the business doesn't work out, and we don't get the jobs that we were hoping for, but we're going to do it in a way that we ensure we are protecting taxpayers money to the best of our abilities."

Premier Brian Gallant says for the families that are affected, this is very disappointing, but he hopes they will take advantage of other opportunities in the province,"There are actually 3000 job postings on right now, so we'll do whatever we can to help families that would be affected by this to transition into other employment.  Hopefully it will be in the same sector, but if not, hopefully they will use programs like the Free tuition program to upgrade their skills or change their skills."

Closures include the Sears store at Champlain Place, which will leave over 100 people unemployed..The store at Regent Mall in Fredericton will also close.

A second Sears call centre located in Edmundston will also be shutdown.