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Add an arbitrator’s ruling to the mountain of auditor’s reports and other evidence showing Nova Scotia P3 schools are a bad deal for taxpayers and students. Leaked copies of the secret ruling show corporations stooping to new lows, trying to muscle in on money raised from cafeteria and vending machine sales. The arbitrator sided with Scotia Learning Centres Inc., awarding them a cut of money many schools put towards supplies and field trips. He also ruled the schools can hike after-hours fees for community and sports groups beyond those charged by publicly owned schools.

The arbitrator also dismissed provincial calls for the corporation to carry $50 million in comprehensive liability insurance in case of staff or student injury, or other accidents. Instead, the corporation is free to carry only $10 million of coverage. Scotia Learning is also trying to stick the province with the bill for repairing vandalism damage to the schools it owns. The arbitrator urged the company and the province to sort it out on their own.