Tories release more info on alleged secret MaRS plan

Mars buildings at the corner of University Ave. and College St. in Toronto, Thursday, May 29, 2014....

Mars buildings at the corner of University Ave. and College St. in Toronto, Thursday, May 29, 2014. (Dave Thomas/QMI Agency)

Antonella Artuso, Queen's Park Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 6:52 PM ET

TORONTO — The Tories released more information Friday about an allegedly secret plan by the Kathleen Wynne government to bail out a downtown business tower on the verge of financial collapse.

The documents show that in addition to the Wynne government’s plan to pay $317 million for the MaRS Phase 2 building — which could end up costing $440 million over 40 years — it will also cover another $150 million in related expenses, PC MPP Vic Fedeli claimed.

“It’s those side deals that concern all of us the most,” Fedeli said. “What are the hidden costs and what are the unknowns...what will the real cost be?”

The original cabinet documents the Tories leaked Thursday say the project is in danger of defaulting on a $234-million loan guaranteed by the provincial government, and that the most prudent course of action would be to buy the building which is struggling to find tenants.

Wynne has said the plan isn’t finalized but taxpayers would benefit from moving some public servants into the building, rather than paying for leases in other locations.

The Liberal government and private sector partners set up MaRS as an innovation centre to help bring together research and businesses to create jobs.

The MaRS Board of Directors issued a statement Friday warning that the PCs disclosure of documents related to the transaction, before its completion, could jeopardize the deal.

The MaRS directors said they are confident the transaction will serve the public interest, but will not provide any details about the ongoing negotiations.

The PCs argue that the Liberal government should have included information about the potential agreement in their most recent budget, and that the public has a right to know how much money will be invested in the MaRS Phase 2 project.

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