News Release Archive

Reductions in federal contributions for social services next
year will mean continuing budget challenges in Nova Scotia,
Community Services Minister Dr. Jim Smith said today.

Speaking to the Municipal Social Services Association
conference in Baddeck, the minister told social service workers
that the province stands to lose about $330 million over the next
three years due to changes in federal participation in social
programs in Canada.
The last federal budget froze spending under the Canada
Assistance Plan and announced that next year, the plan will be
replaced by the Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST). The
two measures "have irrevocably changed the way in which we have
always worked... for the federal government has ended its
open-ended cost-sharing in social services," he said.

The impact on the Department of Community Services could be a
budget reduction next year of about $30 million, the minister
said. As increased funding is not an option for either the
province or municipalities, the challenge in social assistance
will be to find ways to deliver services with less money.

Nova Scotia's two-tier social services system is being examined
to determine the best way to change it into one, Dr. Smith
said. Noting that the systems have been in place largely unchanged
for over 30 years, "we now have an opportunity to restructure them
to better reflect today's needs."

The answer to curbing social services costs lies in helping
people to get off assistance and to become independent as
quickly as possible, he said.


Contact: Dr. Jim Smith

trp                        Oct. 17, 1995