Province Looks Forward to UNSM

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations (to March 31, 2014)

April 18, 2001 3:14 PM

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Angus
MacIsaac says he is looking forward to receiving a new proposal
on Provincial-Municipal Fiscal Exchange from the Union of Nova
Scotia Municipalities (UNSM).

The UNSM’s decision to develop the proposal was discussed during
a recent meeting between the minister and UNSM president Anna
Allen. The decision follows a consultation on the province’s
fiscal exchange proposal advanced in late February. Mr. MacIsaac
recently agreed to extend the consultation period for 90 days at
the UNSM’s request.

"This consultation has confirmed that there is universal support
for the principle of equalization in Nova Scotia," said Mr.
MacIsaac. "There is now much better recognition of the
difficulties that some of our municipalities are having providing
their citizens with basic services. I’m really pleased to see the
UNSM assume some leadership in this issue and I look forward to
receiving the proposal."

Government continues to seek a cost-neutral solution in dealing
with a number of outstanding provincial-municipal issues,
including equalization. Mr. MacIsaac said this must be the result
of any alternative proposal that comes forward.

"The proposal that came forward last February was a very good
starting point," said UNSM president Anna Allen. "But I’m
confident that we can improve it, and address the challenges that
came out of the first phase of the consultation." The UNSM
executive will decide the next step in its consultation process
at a meeting this Thursday, April 19.

"We’ve heard from every municipality and had some excellent
suggestions," added Mr. MacIsaac. "I’m determined, and I believe
the UNSM is determined, to see this fiscal exchange, including a
new equalization program -- whatever its detail -- take effect on
April 1, 2002." The province provided official notice of the
change in a letter to the UNSM, in keeping with government’s
commitment to providing one year notice on provincial-municipal
agreements that involve a financial impact.

FOR BROADCAST USE

     The province says it looks forward to a new equalization

proposal from the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. Service

Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Angus MacIsaac agreed

to extend the consultation by 90 days so the union of

municipalities could develop its own proposal.

     Mr. MacIsaac and union president Anna Allen agreed there is

universal support for the concept of equalization. Ms. Allen says

the province’s proposal was a good starting point that her

organization will attempt to build on.


     The union executive will decide its next steps in the

consultation process on Thursday.

-30-

Contact: Robyn McIsaac
         Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
         902-424-6336
         E-mail: mcisaarc@gov.ns.ca

kjd         April 18, 2001      3:09 P.M.