News release

Conference Board Report Needs Review

A recent Conference Board of Canada report on municipal investment does not provide a full or clear picture of services provided to Nova Scotia municipalities by the provincial government.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Jamie Muir said today, Feb. 9, that suggestions in the report that Nova Scotia municipalities, including HRM, receive far less provincial funding than their counterparts in other provinces are wrong.

"There are two ways a province can support its municipalities," said Mr. Muir. "One is through direct transfers or, two, through fewer spending responsibilities. In Nova Scotia, we have a different model than most provinces. The Nova Scotia government provides social services, home care and nursing homes. They are paid for from the provincial budget, rather than transfer the funds and asking each municipality to provide those services."

There are several examples of how Nova Scotia's expenditures are allocated differently:

  • The province covers 90 per cent of road costs, whereas in Ontario, it's the opposite -- municipalities cover 90 per cent of road costs.
  • The province recently took over HRM's $22-million contribution to social services, bringing the province's social services funding for HRM to more than $200 million.
  • The province spends about $60 million annually on HRM's roads.
  • The federal and provincial governments will spend more than $120 million on HRM's capital costs over the next five years.

Other provinces require municipalities to offer many of those services, and transfer money to the municipalities to help pay those costs. The report shows HRM receives smaller provincial and federal transfers because they are not responsible for the same level of services as cities in most other provinces. In addition to reviewing the report, department staff would like to meet with HRM Mayor Peter Kelly to explain the shortcomings.

"Nova Scotia changed its approach to funding these services 10 years ago to simplify funding and take a more efficient approach to offering services," said Mr. Muir. "We are always speaking with municipal officials, including the mayor of HRM, on fiscal arrangements."

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A recent Conference Board of Canada report on municipal investment does not provide a full or clear picture of services provided to Nova Scotia municipalities by the provincial government.

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations Minister Jamie Muir said today (February 9th) that suggestions in the report that Nova Scotia municipalities, including HRM, receive far less provincial funding than their counterparts in other provinces are wrong.

In Nova Scotia, the provincial government provides social services, home care and nursing homes, unlike other provinces.

In addition to reviewing the report, department staff would like to meet with HRM Mayor Peter Kelly to explain the shortcomings.

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Media Contacts:

Deborah Bayer
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations 902-424-0112 Cell: 902-225-4982 E-mail: