News release

Budget 2023-24: More Healthcare, Faster Invests in Northern Nova Scotia

Healthcare is the centre of Budget 2023-24, which makes historic investments to support healthcare workers, get Nova Scotians faster access to healthcare and build modern healthcare facilities.

Today, March 23, Finance and Treasury Board Minister Allan MacMaster tabled Budget 2023-24: More Healthcare, Faster, which makes investments in northern Nova Scotia.

“Budget 2023-24 is built with all Nova Scotians in mind – it reflects where we are today and where we are headed,” said Minister MacMaster. “It is focused on fixing healthcare and giving people more options for a healthcare system that Nova Scotia families need and provides solutions to build a healthy economy and healthier communities.”

Highlights of investments that will benefit the northern region include:

  • expanding the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades program to include eligible nurses; those under age 30 will receive a refund of the provincial income tax paid on the first $50,000 of income starting in the 2023 tax year
  • $110 million for the second year of retention incentives for nurses who commit to staying in the publicly funded system and sign a two-year return of service agreement
  • $22.2 million for new healthcare workforce strategy initiatives under Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve the healthcare system
  • $46.6 million more to perform more surgeries and continue to address the backlog, including increasing hours for operating rooms
  • $15 million for initiatives to improve emergency care
  • $5 million more for the Seniors Pharmacare program and new cancer drugs
  • $17.7 million for a range of mental health initiatives, working toward universal access to mental health
  • $25.9 million more for home care and direct funding programs to provide flexible supports for seniors, tailored to their individual needs
  • $4.7 million more to provide high-dose flu vaccine for all seniors aged 65 and older for free
  • $14 million more for the Rural Impact Mitigation program for the maintenance and repair of rural roads, for a total of $36 million this year
  • $23.3 million more for the Disability Support Program, a range of services and programs that support people with intellectual disabilities, long-term mental illness and physical disabilities
  • $21.6 million more to create 1,000 new rent supplements, for a total of 8,000 rent supplements
  • $15.3 million more for public housing repairs, for a total of $21 million
  • $8.2 million more for homelessness and supportive housing initiatives
  • $8 million to increase the Nova Scotia Child Benefit for families with incomes below $34,000, in support of reducing child poverty
  • $7.7 million for provincial museum sites, arts and culture organizations and community-owned museums
  • $2.8 million, as part of a $22.7-million, four-year commitment, to increase nursing training seats to 200 at Cape Breton University, Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University and Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC)
  • a 30-seat practical nursing cohort at the NSCC Pictou campus customized for Mi’kmaw learners, beginning this academic year
  • expanding access to dialysis services in the Pictou area
  • a new recovery support centre in Truro
  • construction and renewal of hospitals and medical facilities including projects in Pugwash and Amherst
  • completion of Highway 104 twinning from Sutherlands River to Antigonish
  • Trunk 4 – Antigonish active transportation corridor conversion
  • continued school construction at École acadienne de Pomquet and Springhill Elementary School
  • NSCC Pictou campus student housing project
  • work on the C.A. Douglas Grandstand in Truro
  • ongoing work on the Salmon River North Bound Bridge and Salt Springs Brook Bridge.

Quick Facts:

  • with revenues of $14.2 billion and expenses of $14.4 billion, Budget 2023-24 estimates a deficit of $278.9 million after consolidation
  • spending on healthcare is estimated at $6.5 billion, an increase of more than $1.2 billion from two years ago
  • Budget 2023-24 contains more than $1.6 billion for capital projects, the largest single-year capital investment in the province’s history
  • the budget also contains the final forecast for 2022-23, which reports a deficit of $259.4 million
  • additional appropriations related to the forecast, totalling $577.8 million, are required by 11 departments and offices and for refundable tax credits since the December forecast

Additional Resources:

More budget information is available at:

Action for Health, the government’s plan to improve healthcare in Nova Scotia: