Did Halifax’s dream of being a world financial capital help Joe Ramia’s proposal, with an office tower on top, beat a higher-rated plan for the Cogswell Interchange? by Tim Bousquet

This article first appeared in The Coast, on November 25, 2010.

On Tuesday, February 26, 2008, Nova Scotia conquered Wall Street. That morning a chartered plane left Halifax International for New York City. On board were eight passengers—premier Rodney MacDonald, chief of staff Bob Chisholm, communications director Wade Keller and minister of economic development Angus MacIsaac. From Nova Scotia Business Inc., the province’s economic development agency, were vice president Lisa Bugden and public affairs adviser Sarah Levy. Representing the Chamber of Commerce was president Valerie Payn. Photographer Robert MacDonald was on board as well, to record that afternoon’s triumph.

Wall Street executives had been softened up by NSBI’s president, Stephen Lund, who had earlier arrived with underlings Robert Daigle, J.P. Robicheau, Joseph Alviani and Erik Nobbe, Communications Nova Scotia rep Shawn Hirtle and another PR person from the premier’s office, Joe Gillis.

As well, at their own expense, about two dozen Nova Scotian “industry leaders,” calling themselves “Team Nova Scotia,” had joined the NYC trip. NSBI won’t release the names of those businesspeople, but included in the group was Joe Ramia of Rank Inc. Today, Ramia is known as the developer of what he calls “Nova Centre”—a convention centre, hotel and office tower complex proposed for downtown Halifax.

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Tim Bousquet is the editor and publisher of the Halifax Examiner. Twitter @Tim_Bousquet Mastodon

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