Working together for a stronger Nova Scotia
Budget 2016-2017 focuses on the things that truly matter to Nova Scotians—growth, opportunities for youth, skills and jobs training, education, and health care.
These investments also demonstrate a strong will to support the most vulnerable, helping those who need it the most, and ensuring that investments have impact over the long term.
Responsible financial management is the foundation upon which everything is built. Government must continue to be strategic and prudent about how it spends.
Budget 2016-2017 contains many investments in important areas that truly matter. They are the result of working together for a stronger Nova Scotia.
Opportunities for Growth
This year’s budget targets investments to boost exports in Nova Scotia’s wine, culture, tourism and film sectors and works with business to support growth and jobs. Nova Scotia has the highest business confidence in the country.
- bringing high-speed Internet to more homes and businesses ($6 million)
- supporting Nova Scotia’s wineries and grape producers, which account for $7.3 million in wages annually and drew 100,000 tourists to winery properties in 2014. ($3.5 million)
- continuing to increase Nova Scotia’s population by supporting refugees and immigration streams and providing small-scale grants to groups helping refugees settle in Nova Scotia. ($942,000)
- investing in aquaculture exports and research and development ($2.8 million)
- supporting the creative economy ($2.5 million)
- Film and Television Production Incentive Fund ($10 million)
Investing in youth, education, and job training
The best way to have a strong economy tomorrow is to invest in education and youth today. This year’s budget will recognize the early years as the most important years in a child’s development and public education will get a $65 million investment over four years to prepare students for success. Funding will also make it easier for business to access skilled and knowledgeable workers.
- reducing class sizes ($6.4 million)
- offering more help to all students with math ($2.5 million), and giving P-to-3 students a better start in language arts ($1.2 million)
- creating four new Schools Plus sites ($500,000)
- helping grads land their first job by increasing the Graduate to Opportunity program ($1.6 million)
- hiring more than 150 students across the province for summer jobs, and 75 more for internships and co-op placements, giving them valuable work experience and a chance to earn money for school.
Supporting Nova Scotians Who Need it Most
The budget delivers quality support and services to those who need it most, including people with disabilities, and women at risk. It also has much-needed support for vulnerable families, and wage increases for early childhood educators.
- increasing Employment Support and Income Assistance by up to $20/month ($7.5 million)
- helping more pre-school children with autism by expanding Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention ($3.6 million) and investing more in the Disability Support Program ($9.9 million)
- investing more for children, youth, and family support services ($5.4 million) and subsidizing childcare, increasing wage grants for early childhood educators and helping provide inclusive programming ($6.6 million)
- continuing the Domestic Violence Court in Cape Breton ($398,000), investing in the Sexual Violence Strategy ($2 million) and the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program ($700,000)
Healthy Society, Healthy Economy
Budget 2016-17 builds on work unifying Nova Scotia’s health system. It will also launch a multi-year redevelopment of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, enhancing care for patients across Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.
- helping seniors pay for Pharmacare costs ($3 million)
- investing more to meet orthopedic wait times ($1.9 million)
- continue the Connect2 Sustainable Transportation Community Grants ($825,000)
- keep seniors active and healthy in their communities as long as possible by increasing home support and nursing, and the caregiver benefit and wheelchair programs ($14.4 million) — an increase of $59.1 million since 2013
Responsible Fiscal Management
As the path to fiscal sustainability continues, the province is projecting balanced budgets in each of the next four years.
- ongoing reviews to ensure effective, efficient public service delivery
- reduce red tape for business
- redesign the Department of Health and Wellness
- level of net debt stable over four-year fiscal plan
- focus on core responsibilities in service delivery