Budget Bulletin: Capital Spending

Department of Finance (to Oct. 22, 2013)

May 4, 2009 2:39 PM

Building for Growth: Nova Scotia's Infrastructure Plan

In the next three fiscal years, the province will undertake its largest infrastructure investment, Building for Growth. This plan will increase capital spending to leverage available federal dollars and stimulate the economy. Government plans to spend $1.9 billion to build and repair roads and bridges, schools, health-care facilities, housing, and more.

Projects by Category

Over the next three years, capital investments are being made in the following six categories (in millions, listed for 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12 and Total):
-- Highways: 354, 273, 273, 900
-- Buildings (includes schools): 227, 216, 81, 524
-- Information Technology: 49, 23, 10, 82
-- Land and Land Improvements: 15, 10, 8, 33
-- Vehicles and Equipment: 22, 24, 15, 61
-- Grants to Provincial Entities: 139, 99, 43, 281
-- Total: 806, 645, 430, 1,881

The 2009–10 Capital Budget

The 2009–10 capital budget represents the first year of the province's Building for Growth plan. The total gross budget is $806 million, an increase over 2008–09 of $408 million.

Highways

The allocation for highways is $354 million for 2009–10 and includes funding for roads, streets, highways, ferries, and bridges. Cost sharing on these projects is $110 million from the federal government and $14 million from other sources, primarily municipalities. This investment allows the province to deliver on its commitment to pave 2,000 kilometres of roads over a four-year period.

Motive Fuel Tax and Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Revenue

The Provincial Finance Act requires government to use motive fuel tax and net RMV revenue for highway construction and maintenance.
For fiscal 2009–10, the total estimated revenue for motive fuel taxes and net RMV revenue is $325.1 million, and the estimated total for highways tangible capital assets and operating expenses is $431.6 million (provincial share of total). This means that provincial spending on highways will exceed revenue by $106.5 million.

Buildings

The total 2009–10 capital allocation for building projects is $227.5 million. New school construction, additions and alterations to existing schools, and energy retrofits to various schools total $125.7 million. The Centre for the Built Environment, Nova Scotia Community College's new trades and technology building, and upgrades to various community college buildings around the province total $39 million. The province will start two correctional centres in 2009–10, one in Cumberland County, the other in Antigonish County, and begin construction of the new medical examiner facility.

The capital allocation for Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will include $5 million for energy retrofits to provincial government buildings, $1.9 for completion of work on Government House, and $7.9 million for renovations and upgrades to various government buildings around the province.

The total allocation for energy retrofits in 2009–10 is $25 million: $10 million for schools, $10 million for hospitals, and $5 million for other government buildings.

Information Technology

In fiscal 2009–10 IT projects total $48.5 million. Department of Health capital projects include SAP for district health authorities ($7.8 million) and IT projects addressing wait times and the electronic health record strategy totalling $19.4 million. The Department of Education has been allocated $3.5 million to start the SAP Phase 2 and Student Information System projects.

Land and Land Improvements

Land and land improvement projects include $15.3 million for parks and land purchases around the province.

Vehicles and Equipment

The allocation for vehicles and equipment for various government departments is $22.2 million and includes $5.5 million for school buses, $4.6 million for ambulances, $2.5 million to complete broadband towers and $2 million for TMR towers.

Cost-Shared Revenue

During the development of the Building for Growth plan, the province worked with the federal government to maximize federal cost sharing on the province's infrastructure priorities.

Total funding for projects includes $132.2 million expected cost sharing for Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal projects; $18.1 million for health projects, primarily for wait times information technology; $16.8 million for Department of Education projects; and $13.7 million for projects in other departments.

Tangible capital assets cost-shared revenue estimates have increased from $65.1 million in 2008–09 to $180.8 million in 2009–10. The federal government is the largest external contributor to capital projects, with $166.8 million estimated to be received in 2009–10.

Capital Grants

Government also provides allocations for capital spending purposes to broader public-sector entities.

Capital grants to District Health Authorities are estimated to be $110.9 million for 2009–10. Capital grants to the Nova Scotia Housing Development Corporation for social housing projects are estimated to be $26.4 million in 2009–10.

Other entities such as the Trade Centre Ltd., and InNOVAcorp also receive funding for specific capital requests. For 2009–10, capital grants to other entities are budgeted at $1.7 million.

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NOTE: For further 2009-10 budget information, see the Department of Finance website at www.gov.ns.ca/finance .