Budget 2021 to 2022

A fair and prosperous future: path to balance

Nova Scotians should be proud. We rose to the challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. We came together, while staying physically apart. We adapted and managed our public and financial health well. Our province was the envy of the country and the world.

As we embark upon our recovery, we have an opportunity to learn from the past year and work toward creating a fair and prosperous future for Nova Scotia.

We are building a Nova Scotia that is a world leading start-up capital where companies will invest, grow their firms, and create good jobs. We are creating the right environment, so that people can work anywhere in the world from right here in Nova Scotia and have an excellent quality of life. We are reducing the regulatory burden so businesses can thrive.

A strong economy allows us to invest in our people, especially those who have not had the same historic opportunities as other Nova Scotians, and the priorities of Nova Scotians, including healthcare, mental health, seniors, long-term care, and the environment.

Budget 2021–22 is government’s first step in this new direction. We will balance much-needed supports for Nova Scotians, investments in helping business grow and thrive, and our commitment to sound financial management.

An economy where business can grow

Nova Scotia entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal and economic position, but COVID-19 has had a significant impact on business, many of our sectors, and Nova Scotians. Containing the COVID-19 pandemic and getting people vaccinated are key to helping create a thriving economy so businesses can grow.

Government will reduce regulatory burden, stimulate economic activity, and continue on a path that respects the hard work of Nova Scotians. We will seize the opportunity to create the talent pool to make Nova Scotia a place where companies will invest, grow their firms, and create good jobs.

Strong financial management creates the environment to attract investment, too. That is why government is focused on getting back to balance after this COVID crisis. We have a plan that takes us to balance over the next four years.

Budget 2021–22 includes:

  • $723,000 increase for Unama’ki Pathways in Technology, Early College High School, an integrated partnership program for Mi’kmaq students with a focus
    on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and developing
    workplace skills
  • $323,000 increase to the Technology Advantage program that brings together
    high schools, NSCC, and the IT sector through a partnership with NSCC and IBM
  • $3.7 million increase to the operating grant for universities to train and educate
    our workforce of the future
  • $1.3 million for the first year of a new five-year Nova Scotia Quality Wine Strategy
  • $1.5 million for the first year of a new five-year Aquaculture Expansion Strategy
  • $1.2 million to support the hospitality industry by expanding the 10 per cent
    Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation discount to include bottled and canned beer,
    cider and ready-to-drink products
  • $1 million to continue the NSBI Digital Adoption Program that supports
    Nova Scotia businesses to rapidly adopt digital tools and innovations
  • $1.1 million to continue the digital content marketing program to support
    tourism operators implement customized digital marketing campaigns
  • $529,000 continued funding to support the RADIATE Tourism Program to
    help businesses and organizations develop and promote compelling travel
    packages to local and Maritime travellers
  • $252,000 to expand the Office of Immigration and Population Growth to
    attract and retain more newcomers to the province
  • Setting a new target to reduce government’s regulatory burden on business
    by $10 million in 2021, which is in addition to the $50 million in net annual
    savings for business since 2017
  • An additional Business Navigator at the Office of Regulatory Affairs and
    Service Effectiveness
  • Continued funding to revitalize provincial tourism icons, including Peggy’s Cove
    and the Halifax Waterfront
  • $7.6 million in focused funding for active transportation and public transit
    initiatives under new Department of Transportation and Active Transit

Modernizing healthcare

Good health is good for people, good for consumer confidence, good for business, and good for the economy. Government is focused on enhancing the healthcare sector to meet today’s needs, prepare for tomorrow’s challenges and achieve greater wellbeing for all.

Budget 2021–22 includes:

Mental health support and health system improvements

  • $24.2 million to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Nova Scotians
  • $64.2 million increase for personal protective equipment
  • $5.7 million increase for Public Health, funding new positions in the Department of Health and Wellness and Nova Scotia Health Authority
  • $76.1 million increase to Nova Scotia Health Authority’s operating budget to help address demand for services, expand capacity, and increase beds across the system
  • $7.6 million increase for the IWK Health Centre to support operational needs and increased expenses as a result of COVID-19
  • $4.7 million to expand digital licences to access and record COVID-19 vaccines
  • $11.3 million increase to support nurses and additional cleaning requirements for Infection Prevention and Control
  • $2.8 million to accelerate the use of virtual tools and digital approaches to providing healthcare
  • $12.8 million increase to help Nova Scotians access the medications they need, including funding for seniors and family pharmacare
  • $1.9 million increase in Orthopedic support so more Nova Scotians can have hip and knee surgeries
  • $1.9 million increase for the Human Organ Tissue Donation Act to support additional resources in the health system to ensure every donation opportunity is realized
  • $1.5 million to establish the Office of Mental Health and Addictions — this year the province will invest a total of $336.5 million to expand and sustain mental health services and supports (includes the items below)
  • $12.3 million increase for new mental health programming, including
    • Single brief intervention sessions to provide rapid access to mental health supports
    • Withdrawal management hubs to support Nova Scotians with substance-related harm and addictions
    • E-mental health options to increase access for Nova Scotians to services and supports

Long term care and home care

  • $1.02 billion for long term care and home care this year, including
    • $22.6 million increase, for a total of $27.8 million, to implement findings of the Expert Panel on Long Term Care, including long-term care assistants, expanding access to Allied Health providers, and implementing primary care coverage in nursing homes
    • $12.3 million to extend Regional Care Centres for long term care patients with COVID-19
    • $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
    • $6 million increase to support the continuing care sector with COVID-19 related expenses
    • $3.9 million to support long-term care facilities with lost revenues during the pandemic
    • $2.7 million increase to the Supportive Care program to support people with cognitive impairments
    • $814,000 increase for Adult Day Programming to provide personal assistance, supervision, and health, social, and recreational activities for community-based seniors
    • $500,000 to advance the Blueprint for Change in Long Term Care

More physicians and nurses

  • $12.2 million this year to continue graduating more doctors at Dalhousie University Medical School, including
    • $2 million increase for the third cohort of 15 specialty residency placements, for a total investment of $6.8 million this year
    • $1.2 million increase to continue funding 16 seats at Dalhousie University Medical School added last year, for a total of $2.7 million this year — the seats focus on rural communities, Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous Peoples, and African Nova Scotians
    • $299,000 increase for the next cohort of 10 family medicine residents, for a total of $2.7 million this year
  • $914,000 increase to continue support for the 70 nursing seats added last year at Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University’s Yarmouth campus

Healthcare infrastructure

  • $178.2 million to continue support for the largest healthcare redevelopment projects in the province’s history
    • QEII New Generation project
    • new and renovated operating rooms
    • new cancer care centre ~ new community outpatient centre
  • CBRM Healthcare Redevelopment project
    • expanded emergency departments at Cape Breton Regional Hospital and Glace Bay Hospital
    • improved cancer care centre
    • new enhanced critical care ward
    • community-based paramedic program
  • $95.5 million for construction, repair, and renewal of hospitals and medical facilities across the province
  • $6.3 million to continue the Dartmouth General Expansion Project
  • $1.5 million to support the new dialysis units in Dartmouth, Glace Bay, Digby, and Kentville

Environment and climate action

Climate change is the challenge of our generation, and government is taking action to address it, with the knowledge that a healthy environment is linked to a healthy population and healthy economy.

Budget 2021–22 includes:

  • More than $80 million this year to fight climate change and create jobs by growing the green economy through new and continued initiatives at the departments of Energy and Mines, Environment and Climate Change, and Municipal Affairs (includes items below)
  • $26 million for new Green Fund programs to address climate change, such as
    • $200,000 to develop a new Climate Change Strategy for Clean Growth
    • $132,000 to create a Nova Scotia Regional Climate Representative position at the Atlantic Data Hub to provide local climate data, information, training, and other services to help Nova Scotians understand and consider the impacts of climate change
    • $100,000 increase, for a total of $360,000 this year, for climate change research and risk assessment
  • $16.4 million this year for green infrastructure stream projects to help reduce GHG emissions while ensuring citizens are protected from higher fuel and electricity costs
  • $225,000 increase, for a total of $561,000 this year, for the Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise Program to develop climate change adaption plans and implement actions that will enhance Nova Scotia’s resilience to climate change
  • $15,000 increase in recoverable funding to the Green Jobs in Green Spaces for students – an initiative under the Canadian Heritage Rivers System program

A connected, affordable, inclusive Nova Scotia

Our strength is in our people, in all their skill and diversity. They build our communities and contribute to the quality of life that attracts people from across Canada and around the world to call this place home. However, we know barriers exist and systemic racism is a lived reality for too many people. More work needs to be done to ensure every Nova Scotian has the opportunity to thrive, and Budget 2021–22 will support listening and creating a more fair and inclusive society.

Budget 2021–22 includes:

  • $100 per month increase to Standard Household Rate for adults who receive Income Assistance, with $35.2 million in additional funds
  • $1 million to support food security initiatives, including Nourishing Communities, to assist Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable residents access healthy foods
  • $564,000 increase to remove the requirement for Employment Support and Income Assistance clients to apply for Canada Pension Plan at age 60
  • $334,000 to increase the eligibility threshold for the Poverty Reduction Credit from $12,000 to $16,000
  • $29.1 million this year for the third year of initiatives to provide safe, suitable, and affordable housing under the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Affordable Housing
  • $7.3 million increase to housing authorities to support additional cleaning and public health compliance because of COVID-19
  • $8.8 million increase to support youth with complex needs or requiring safe placements
  • $7.1 million increase to support safe child welfare placements during COVID-19
  • $3.5 million increase to continue to expand prevention and early intervention child welfare programming for children and families at risk
  • $278,000 increase for residential placements and programming supports to protect sexually exploited youth
  • $1.1 million increase for the Property Tax Rebate for Seniors program that helps low-income seniors with the cost of municipal residential property taxes

Equity and inclusion

  • $46.7 million increase for programs that support adults and children with disabilities
    • $20.4 million increase to continue to move more residents out of Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres into communitybased settings
    • $12.5 million increase to the Disability Support Program for residential and community-based programs
    • $10.4 million increase in Disability Support Program to move participants out of hospital settings
    • $2.9 million increase to the Flex at Home Support Program to support more people with disabilities who live at home with their families
    • $500,000 increase to continue providing one-to-one job coaching for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • $320,000 increase for the Accessibility Directorate, for total of $2.2 million this year, to support its work in achieving the goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030
  • $2 million to create and fund six positions at the new Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and improve the economic, social, educational, and health outcomes of all Nova Scotians
  • $2.4 million increase to the Land Titles Initiative to address the legacy of systemic racism relating to land ownership in five historic African Nova Scotian communities
  • Partnering with the federal government to consult with the community on an African Nova Scotian justice plan, recognizing the overrepresentation of African Nova Scotians in the justice system and issues of systemic racism in policing
  • $2.3 million increase for therapy supports for survivors of sexual assault, for a total investment of $2.8 million this year
  • $153,000 increase in permanent funding to the Human Rights Commission for in-house legal counsel for Board of Inquiry Hearings

Child care and education

  • $2.1 million increase for the now fully implemented pre-primary program available across the province, for a total of $53.4 million this year
  • $15 million increase to continue implementing the recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education to create a more inclusive education system for all students, bringing the total investment to $60 million
  • $9.5 million to maintain the enhanced cleaning recommendations from Public Health to support COVID-19 safe schools
  • $8 million to complete previous initiatives that support the safe reopening of schools and online learning due to COVID-19 during this school year

Infrastructure in every region

  • $217.2 million for school capital construction projects, including major design, build, and renovation projects for schools, and for the purchase of four P-3 schools
  • $467 million 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), and Highway 104 (Sutherlands River to Antigonish), and to complete the Highway 107 Extension Sackville- Bedford-Burnside Connector
  • $285,000 increase for maintenance on Nova Scotia highways, for a total of $119.6 million
  • Continued funding to build the NSCC Marconi Campus on the Sydney waterfront