Budget 2022 to 2023

Solutions for Healthcare, Solutions for Nova Scotians

Budget 2022–23 focuses on solutions for our province’s most pressing challenges. Fixing healthcare, strategically growing our population and economy and investing in supports for our families and communities will move our province forward.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Nova Scotians set an example by working together to keep each other safe. It wasn’t easy, but the world took notice and Nova Scotia quickly became a destination for people looking for a different, better way of life. By the end of 2021, we had set immigration and population records, surpassing one million people.

There are unprecedented opportunities ahead for Nova Scotia. Budget 2022–23 invests thoughtfully in the areas Nova Scotians care about most, while also planning for the needs of a growing, more sustainable and prosperous province.

Solutions for healthcare

Improving healthcare is the most pressing issue for Nova Scotians. The government is advancing solutions that are informed by input from those who know the system best – front-line healthcare professionals. Targeted investments will improve access to care, alleviate stress on our healthcare professionals and bring more of them to our province, expand care for our seniors and help make mental health support more accessible.

Budget 2022–23 invests a total of $5.7 billion in healthcare, an increase of $413.4 million from last year. This includes $268.6 million for addictions and mental health (an increase of $20.6 million), $1.2 billion for continuing care (an increase of $142.5 million) and $9.8 million for a new Healthcare Professionals Recruitment Office.

Laying the foundation for mental health

  • $3.4 million more to expand mental health virtual care, including hiring 22 clinicians over two years for Community Mental Health and Addictions outpatient clinics and enhancing virtual care services at emergency departments
  • $1 million to open the province’s first mental health acute day hospital at the QEII Health Sciences Centre
  • $275,000 to add two permanent mental health and addictions clinical assistants in Eastern Zone while psychiatrist recruitment continues
  • $140,000 to add four psychology residents between Nova Scotia Health and the IWK Health Centre
  • $1.7 million more for withdrawal management services
  • $464,000 more to support the provincial Opioid Action Plan

Improving access to primary care

  • $14.5 million more to make virtual care available to everyone on the Need a Family Practice Registry and expand the kind of care available through virtual care
  • $2 million to support healthcare professional recruitment efforts across the province
  • $3.2 million to add 200 nursing seats – Cape Breton University (28), Dalhousie University (26), St. Francis Xavier University (26) and NSCC (120 Practical Nursing)
  • $1.6 million in continued support for the 70 additional nursing seats added in 2020 at Cape Breton University and Dalhousie University’s Yarmouth Campus
  • $1.2 million in continued support of 16 additional medical school seats added in 2019 at Dalhousie University
  • $10.2 million to support access and flow initiatives at Nova Scotia Health
  • $17.5 million to perform 2,500 more surgeries, expand operating room hours and add 28 beds and staffing at Dartmouth General Hospital to support more surgeries
  • $2.1 million to address surgery backlogs due to COVID-19 at IWK Health Centre and to fund more cataract surgeries
  • $597,000 to expand operating room capacity in Cape Breton
  • $6.3 million more for cardiac and renal programs
  • $2.7 million more to meet increasing demand for gastrointestinal endoscopy and cystoscopy services
  • $312,000 to establish an obesity clinic in Eastern Zone to better support surgical outcomes and wait times
  • $591,000 more for Hospice Cape Breton, Hospice Halifax and Valley Hospice
  • $10.4 million more for medications and more for the seniors, family and Community Services pharmacare programs
  • $3.6 million more for cancer medications
  • $6.7 million increase for CAR T-cell Therapy, which is now offered through Nova Scotia Health; previously patients were required to travel to Boston or Toronto for treatment
  • $6.1 million to increase Public Health capacity, including hiring more public health professionals to better respond to and manage public health issues
  • $22.9 million to continue delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Nova Scotians
  • $684,000 more for the Newcomer Health Clinic, which provides preventative health and primary medical services for refugees
  • $675,000 more to expand the Nova Scotia Brotherhood Initiative, which provides culturally appropriate health services for men of African descent, and initiate Project Sisterhood
  • $150,000 to launch an approach this year to collect and analyze race-based data to address inequities in healthcare and better serve racialized people
  • $464.6 million to support the QEII New Generation and the Cape Breton Regional Municipality Healthcare Redevelopment projects
  • $122.6 million for construction, repair and renewal of other hospitals and medical facilities

Investing in long-term care

  • $66.3 million to provide Continuing Care Assistants (CCAs) with the highest wages in Atlantic Canada
  • $17.2 million to support additional recruitment, retention and training efforts in continuing care, including tuition reimbursement for CCAs, a targeted immigration strategy, recognition of prior learning, work-and-learn opportunities and professional development
  • $25.1 million more to increase staffing levels to establish a standard of at least 4.1 hours of one-on-one care per long-term care resident
  • $15 million to continue additional staffing in long-term care due to COVID-19 public health directives
  • $11 million to extend or convert more than 190 new long-term care spaces, including Veterans Affairs spaces, to help create more bed capacity and support patient flow
  • $3 million more for workplace safety investments for long-term care staff
  • $29.1 million for the Seniors Care Grant, which helps Nova Scotians aged 65 and older stay in their homes longer

Solutions for our economy

Emerging from the pandemic, Nova Scotia has a renewed focus on growing its economy and population. With unprecedented population growth, it is clear our province is a place where people want to live. Budget 2022–23 makes vital investments in capital projects and local economies, helps meet the labour demands of our economy and makes it possible for current and new Nova Scotians to live, work and build a thriving life here.

To keep up with the growing population, the government has a plan to expand housing options for Nova Scotians, including breaking down regulatory barriers, investing in more affordable housing and training and attracting more people into high demand trades and occupations. In addition, Budget 2022–23 introduces new tax measures for non-resident homeowners to help make housing more available and attainable for Nova Scotia residents.

Strengthening our workforce and businesses

  • Introduction of the More Opportunities for Skilled Trades program, which, starting in the 2022 tax year, will return provincial personal income tax paid on the first $50,000 of earnings for eligible people under the age of 30
  • $750,000 more for skilled trades in schools programs, including promotion efforts to double the number of students in the program, as well as more supplies and resources
  • $895,000 more for six new navigators and four new program officers to support newcomer arrivals and immigration programs
  • $1.4 million more to expand immigration services in communities by increasing support to eleven settlement service provider organizations
  • $1 million more to continue immigration and population growth marketing campaigns
  • $12 million for a refreshed Innovation Rebate Program, which encourages private sector investment in their facilities, innovative processes and green technologies
  • $2 million more for Tourism Nova Scotia to attract visitors to the province and increase tourism revenues
  • $1.1 million more for coastal monitoring data collection and public engagement to introduce a new classification system of coastal areas that supports lowimpact, sustainable aquaculture
  • $3.7 million more for universities under the existing Memorandum of Understanding

Taking action on housing solutions

  • $15 million more for affordable housing programs
  • $2.7 million more for new rent supplements associated with Quick Start Investments
  • $4.4 million more to leverage federal funding for initiatives under the National Housing Strategy
  • $2 million to support the work of the joint planning task force on housing in the Halifax Regional Municipality
  • Capital funding for planning, design and construction of new NSCC residences at Akerley, Pictou and Ivany campuses, as part of government’s plan to address local housing issues
  • $900,000 more for housing-related provincially-owned land transfer initiatives

Solutions for our future

Budget 2022–23 invests in a brighter, greener, more equitable future for Nova Scotia, where our thriving communities welcome new people and opportunities. It makes compassionate investments that support people to live more independent lives, access affordable, high-quality childcare and connects those experiencing homelessness with shelter and vital services.

Budget 2022–23 also invests more in quality, inclusive education that provides the skills and opportunities our children deserve and prepares them for adulthood.

Supporting Nova Scotians

  • $54.2 million increase for programs that support adults and children with disabilities
    • $18.8 million increase to the Disability Support Program in residential and community-based settings
    • $16.4 million to help more clients transition from adult residential centres and residential rehabilitation centres into community-based settings
    • $8.8 million to remove the cap on the Independent Living Support program, which helps semi-independent people who need additional support to live on their own
    • $3.5 million more to expand the eligibility and increase funding to families under the Direct Family Support for Children program
    • $3.5 million to support young adults to transition them out of long-term care homes
    • $3.2 million increase for the Disability Support Flex Program which provides individualized funding to people living at home with their families or who live independently with support from their families or personal support networks
  • $2.5 million more for the Supportive Care program to provide Nova Scotians with cognitive impairments home support services like personal care, respite, meal preparation and household chores
  • $2.1 million more for the Self-Managed Care program, which allows people with physical disabilities to hire their own care providers and develop their own care plans
  • $3 million to introduce a Fertility and Surrogacy Rebate to help offset costs for Nova Scotians trying to have a baby and paying for fertility services in Nova Scotia
  • $1.3 million more to support post-secondary students with accessibility needs
  • $12.5 million for the Nova Scotia Child Benefit to support reducing childhood poverty
  • $12 million more to implement a more integrated health services model of care for all pre-school aged children with autism spectrum disorders
  • $2.3 million more for prevention and early intervention programs under Child, Youth and Family Services
  • $9.6 million more for supportive housing initiatives, including supportive services related to modular units being constructed in the Halifax Regional Municipality and funding for emergency sheltering and volunteer-based shelters in rural areas
  • $7.1 million more for new and continued supports for people experiencing homelessness through the Integrated Action Plan to Address Homelessness
  • $5.4 million more toward the redesign of the Foster Care program
  • $2.1 million more for Standing Together, the province’s action plan to prevent domestic violence
  • $921,000 more to expand victims’ services supports, including offering advice and representation to survivors of sexual assault
  • $2.3 million more to support the judiciary and Public Prosecution Service to address timelines in the Supreme Court of Canada Jordan decision
  • $4.4 million to cover this year’s annual liability costs to ensure firefighters receive presumptive cancer coverage for 13 additional cancers and heart attack coverage through Workers’ Compensation Board

Investing in children and education

  • $113.2 million investment in childcare, including lower fees for families, creating more spaces and enhancing after-school care (fully recoverable from the federal government under the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement)
  • $700,000 to provide more subsidies to help eligible families pay for licensed childcare
  • $5.5 million more for the Pre-Primary program to meet enrolment growth
  • $15 million more to continue implementing the recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education to create a more inclusive education system
  • $2.1 million to continue the new Healthy Schools Grant for all public schools
  • $570,000 more for public education system settlement services, including English as Additional Language teachers and interpretation and translation services
  • $175.3 million to build and renovate schools across the province
  • $4.7 million to establish the Children’s Sports and Arts Refundable Tax Credit to help families offset the cost of their child’s registration and expenses in sports
    and the arts

Investing in green and vibrant communities

  • $29.2 million from Municipal Affairs and Housing as the provincial share of Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program green and transit projects
  • $2.3 million for energy audits of provincial buildings
  • $2 million toward expanding electric vehicle charging stations across the province
  • $830,000 more for African Nova Scotian Affairs, including to establish three new regional offices in Digby, New Glasgow and the Preston area
  • $2 million to establish a joint regional transportation agency
  • $1 million for the Rink Revitalization Fund
  • $1 million toward the redesign and upgrade of Charlotte Street in Sydney to create a welcoming, accessible and green destination
  • $507.8 million for Nova Scotia’s roads, highways and bridges, including a new $30 million envelope for bridge repair and renewal and $20 million more for gravel roads
  • $11 million more to double the Rural Impact Mitigation program for the maintenance and repair of rural roads