The Nova Scotia government wrote off $16.2 million in bad loans from 2008. The loans included more than $1 million in uncollectible student loans, and smaller amounts for pharmacare premiums and unpaid fees.
But by far the majority of the uncollectible loans had been made by the Nova Scotia agriculture department. “This unusually high amount is due to defaulted hog loan accounts under the Farm Loan Board,” said a ministry of finance press release.
“For many years, hog farming in Nova Scotia was heavily subsidized by government,” the release went on. “When government support was discontinued in 2007-08, many hog farmers were unable to sustain their business due to low pork prices and rising production costs.”