News Release Archive

The Nova Scotia government and the Union of Nova Scotia
Municipalities have agreed to a financial formula that will lead
to the creation of a single-tier system of  social assistance
delivery in Nova Scotia, Premier John Savage announced today.

In a joint announcement with Steven Stoddart, president of the
UNSM, Premier Savage said the agreement launches a new era of
co-operation between municipal and provincial governments in the
delivery of social assistance programs in Nova Scotia.

"The current mixture of municipal and provincial programs is
neither equitable nor sustainable," Premier Savage said. "I am
pleased to see that our municipal partners have agreed to a plan
that will soon make a single-tier system a reality."

Under the new agreement, municipalities will maintain their
present financial contribution to social assistance costs. The
four-year deal specifies that the total contribution from Nova
Scotia's 55 municipal units will not exceed $42.8 million
annually, once the single-tier system is in place. Municipalities
will be protected from any overall increases in social assistance

"We will be working to develop agreements with each municipality
over the next year, with the goal of having programs streamlined
to a single tier provincewide by April 1, 1998," said John
MacEachern, minister of Community Services.

Mr. MacEachern and representatives of the municipalities' union
reached the agreement earlier this month following negotiations
that began in October. The single-tier system is the first step
in a major reform of Nova Scotia's welfare system, intended to
consolidate changes to federal, provincial and municipal support
programs in 1998-99.

"We will be consulting over the next year with our municipal
partners, including municipal employees, to build a system that
will serve us as we enter the 21st century," Mr. MacEachern said.


Contact: Cathy Shaw  902-424-4326

NOTE TO EDITORS: A backgrounder on the social assistance system
is available by calling 1-800-670-4357 or 902-424-4492.

trp                    Apr. 11, 1997 - 9:55 a.m.