Budget 2019-2020

A strong financial foundation allows government, in Budget 2019–20, to invest in important priorities, programs, and services to benefit all Nova Scotians.

Government will continue to improve access to healthcare, invest in education (including early years), and in people, businesses, and communities across the province, creating the conditions for economic growth and well-being.

Improving Access to Healthcare

Since 2013, our overall investment in healthcare has steadily grown in response to increased need.
  • $10 million more for collaborative-care teams
  • $2.9 million increase to open 15 new residency spaces for specialty medical positions at Dalhousie University Medical School
  • $1.1 million this year to open 10 new family practice residency seats at Dalhousie University Medical School
  • $200,000 to support doctor recruitment in our communities, as part of the Culture Innovation Fund
  • $2.2 million increase to improve access to orthopedic services for hip and knee replacements
  • $2.8 million this year, for a total of $5 million, to implement findings of the Expert Panel on Long Term Care, including wound care, service coordination and staffing
  • The Canada–Nova Scotia Home and Community Care and Mental Health and Addictions Services Funding Agreement will provide:
    • $16.8 million to support home care
    • $11.7 million to support mental health, included in total mental health and addictions spending of $295.5 million — this funding will expand and sustain mental health supports, including extending the adolescent outreach program currently operating in Cape Breton to 41 schools in western and northern Nova Scotia and allowing NSHA and IWK to add 10 more full-time mental health positions this year
  • $1 million increase to complete the provincewide SchoolsPlus expansion, connecting students to mental health and community support services
  • $156.9 million this year to support progress on two of the largest healthcare redevelopment projects in Nova Scotia history, the QEII New Generation project and CBRM Healthcare Redevelopment project


Investing in Education and Preparing Youth for the Workforce

By September 2020, we anticipate every 4-year-old in Nova Scotia will have access to free pre-primary.
  • $10.2 million to expand pre-primary classes
  • $67 million, which includes a federal contribution of $11 million, for the regulated childcare sector to make child care services more accessible and increasing subsidies for families
  • $15 million increase to continue implementing recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education
  • $1.4 million increase to complete the reinstatement of the Reading Recovery program
  • $3.6 million increase for Nova Scotia’s universities
  • Eligible Nova Scotia students studying at Nova Scotia universities will no longer have to repay their Nova Scotia student loan if they complete their undergraduate degree within five years, regardless of the amount owing. Upfront grants for Nova Scotia students studying out of province in programs available here will be phased out.


Creating the Conditions for Economic Growth

Nova Scotia businesses will save about $34 million each year as a result of government’s work to cut red tape.
  • $850,000 more for export development programming
  • $500,000 increase for incubators and accelerators that support startup companies
  • $2 million more for Invest Nova Scotia to fund projects that support competitiveness and productivity in sectors
  • $620,000 more to support increasing immigration numbers
  • $15 million to expand and create tax credits that encourage investment in new and growing Nova Scotia businesses
  • $415,000 to support marketing Nova Scotia seafood products
  • $1.7 million increase to help move to ecological forestry
  • $2 million to make progress on revitalizing tourism icons
  • $15 million more, for a total of $300 million, for construction on Nova Scotia’s roads, highways and bridges, including twinning projects


Supporting Our People and Our Communities

Nova Scotia’s population has reached a historic high – 965,382 as of January 2019.
  • $14.2 million increase for programs that support adults and children with disabilities
  • $5.6 million to introduce the Standard Household Rate which will increase income assistance payments
  • $5 million to invest in poverty-reduction initiatives
  • $1.7 million to fully implement the exemption of child maintenance payments from income assistance calculations so parents have more money to take care of their children’s needs
  • $700,000 to exempt child maintenance payments from income calculations for clients of Housing Nova Scotia and the Disability Support Program
  • $3 million to help prevent domestic violence
  • $470,000 for sexual violence prevention work on universities and NSCC campuses
  • $7.2 million more to make improvements to public housing units
  • $3 million more as part of a three-year plan to add 1,500 new rent supplements and reduce the wait list by 30 per cent