News release

Nova Scotia Budget 2020-21 Invests in Southern Nova Scotia

Improving the lives of Nova Scotians, building on economic success, modernizing much-needed infrastructure and fostering confidence in a brighter future are the focus of government’s fifth consecutive balanced budget.

“As a new decade begins, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future of our province. All Nova Scotians deserve to see benefits from the province's stronger economy and our positive fiscal position,” said Minister of Finance and Treasury Board Karen Casey. “Budget 2020-21 supports Nova Scotians who may not have been feeling the success of the province. For our province to thrive now and in the future, we need to ensure our citizens receive the programs and services they need.”

Budget 2020-21 estimates a surplus of $55 million with revenue of $11.60 billion and expenses, after consolidation adjustments, of $11.54 billion. It also projects balanced budgets in each of the following three years.

Budget 2020-21 highlights that will benefit Southern Nova Scotia include:

  • expansion of the emergency department and intensive care unit at South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater, a multi-year project
  • road improvements to Highway 103 Bridgewater Interchange
  • funding to expand the number of nursing seats at Dalhousie University’s Yarmouth campus
  • $16.3 million for the operating grant for the Nova Scotia to Maine Ferry
  • $1.4 million increase to support a comprehensive provincial approach to combat human trafficking, which includes a family and victim support navigator in the South Shore
  • $75.3 million this year for the new Doctor’s Master Agreement to improve the recruitment and retention of medical professionals — this investment will mean that family, emergency and anesthesia doctors will be the highest paid in Atlantic Canada and other specialties like psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology will be among the highest paid in this region
  • $750,000 increase this year to further develop collaborative care teams to make it easier for Nova Scotians to see a doctor or other primary care clinicians, for a total of $28.4 million annual investment
  • $17.5 million to expand the free Pre-primary Program for four-year-olds to every area of the province and an additional $4 million to bus service for eligible pre-primary students in September 2020
  • $18 million to increase the low-income threshold for the Nova Scotia Child Benefit and increase the amounts families will receive and help address child poverty. Families with incomes below $34,000 will now be eligible, benefiting almost 28,000 families and 49,000 children
  • $18.7 million increase for the second year of initiatives to provide safe, suitable and affordable housing under the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Affordable Housing, part of the National Housing Strategy, and other housing priorities
  • $4.1 million increase for the Integrated Action Plan to Address Homelessness
  • $10 million increase for J-class roads maintenance
  • $5.3 million increase to enhance long-term care in the province, for total long-term care funding of $612.4 million
  • $70.5 million to reduce the Corporate Tax Rate by two per cent to 14 per cent to help Nova Scotia businesses become more competitive, innovate, reinvest in their businesses and grow
  • $10.5 million to reduce the small business tax from three per cent to 2.5 per cent, savings which helps companies invest back into their businesses and employees
  • $15 million increase to continue implementing the recommendations from the Commission on Inclusive Education to create a more inclusive education system for all students, bringing the total investment to $45 million

Quick Facts:

  • Budget 2020-21 contains $1.04 billion for capital projects including schools, roads and highways
  • the budget also contains the final forecast for 2019-20, which updates the surplus to $41.1 million
  • additional appropriations related to the forecast, totalling $133 million, account for unplanned spending by nine departments and assistance to universities

Additional Resources:

For more budget highlights, visit:

To view the budget documents, visit


Media Contact:

Gary Andrea
902-456-6196 Email: