News Release Archive

Nova Scotia's track record on fiscal management has received a
vote of confidence from a major bond rating agency.

Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) announced today it is
upgrading the province's short-term credit rating to R-1 (low)
from R-2 (high). The agency also confirmed the province's current
rating for long-term debt.

"This upgrade means the provincial government will pay less when
it refinances Nova Scotia's short-term debt," said Finance
Minister Bill Gillis.

A higher credit rating lowers the province's cost of borrowing.
At any given time, $300 million to $500 million worth of Nova
Scotia debt is short-term and will be affected by the rating

In its own release, the rating agency said: "The province has
improved from a sizable deficit in 1992-93 to the surplus
achieved in 1996-97.

"The province has implemented significant support for its fiscal
program by introducing legislation, restructuring government, and
implementing planning and financial management processes, with
the objective of maintaining a balanced, disciplined program."

Said Dr. Gillis: "This improvement in our credit rating sends a
strong signal that balanced budgets have tangible benefits for
all Nova Scotians. Lower interest payments mean we can put more
money into programs or lower taxes."

The finance minister said Dominion's vote of confidence in Nova
Scotia's fiscal reporting and accountability is also important.

"Rating agencies such as DBRS stake their reputations and
business credibility on their assessment of a province's
financial accounts and outlook. DBRS clearly believes Nova
Scotia's financial accountability is in good shape." 

In the 10 years Dominion has been rating Nova Scotia bonds, this
marks the first time the agency has improved the province's
credit rating.

Through the 1980s and first half of the 1990s, rating agencies
consistently downgraded the province's credit as the amount of
money borrowed increased. Today's announcement follows a rating
improvement by another agency last fall. In September 1996,
Standard and Poor's upgraded the province's rating to A-stable
from A-negative.


Contact: Bruce Cameron
         Department of Finance

jlw                         July 2, 1997     2:25 p.m.