March 25, 2021
Nova Scotia strikes positive note with 2021-2022 Budget: ‘Our recovery has already started’
Province invests in infrastructure, long-term care & pandemic fight
Nova Scotia Finance Minister Labi Kousoulis tabled the 2021-2022 budget today and predicted that in four years the Maritime province’s books will once again be balanced.
The budget projects a deficit of $584.9 million in 2021-2022, with revenue estimates of $11.8 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $12.4 billion. There are no tax or fee increases.
“Governments everywhere are facing significant deficits, but Nova Scotia’s strong fiscal position has meant our deficit relative to our GDP is one of the smallest in the country,” Kousoulis said.
Already, recovery has started in the province, he said, noting employment has increased to 465,200, which is just 1,800 below pre-pandemic levels. Employment among women is now above pre-pandemic levels.
Nova Scotia is committing $24.2 million to fund COVID-19 vaccine distribution with the goal of every adult receiving their first dose by the end of June. It is also investing $336.5 million in mental health, an increase of $20 million, and increasing income assistance by $100 per month for adults.
Earlier this week, the province released its $1.17-billion capital plan
for the year. It marks the second year in a row, Nova Scotia will invest more than a billion dollars in schools, hospitals and improved infrastructure.
- $217.2 million for the continued design and construction of 15 schools, the demolition of one former site (Duncan Macmillan High School), and the purchase of the last four P-3 schools.
- The four schools, built through public-private partnerships in the late 1990s, are: Antigonish Education Centre, Bayview Education Centre, Dalbrae Academy and Northeast Kings Education Centre.
- $178.2 million to support the QEII New Generation project and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Health Care Redevelopment.
- $95.5 million for construction, repair and renewal of other hospitals and medical facilities.
- $6.3 million to continue the Dartmouth General Expansion Project.
Long-Term Care and Home Care
- $1.02 billion for long-term care and home care this year, including:
- $8.6 million for the first year of the multi-year Long Term Care Infrastructure Renewal Plan to replace or significantly renovate seven nursing homes and add more than 230 beds across the province by 2025.
- $467 million in investments for Nova Scotia’s roads, highways, and bridges, and equipment with continued work on multi-year projects to twin 100-series highways, including:
- Highway 101 (Three Miles Plains to Falmouth)
- Highway 103 (Ingramport to Hubbards)
- Highway 104 (Sutherlands River to Antigonish), and
- To complete the Highway 107 Extension Sackville-Bedford-Burnside Connector.
- $285,000 increase for maintenance on highways, for a total of $119.6 million.
The full 2021-2022 budget documents for Nova Scotia can be accessed here.