Communities in southern Nova Scotia will benefit from improvements to education, infrastructure and health care as part of investments in Budget 2017-2018.
“Our budget focuses on helping prepare our children, youth and young adults for opportunities to succeed here at home knowing that when we help families, we help strengthen our province,” said Finance Minister Randy Delorey. “We are also including supports for our aging population that will help older Nova Scotians stay involved and connected to their communities, promote healthy living, and keep older adults in the workforce.”
Highlights in Budget 2017-2018 for southern Nova Scotia include:
— funding to begin work to enhance and modernize the South Shore Regional Hospital in Bridgewater
— funding for the planning, design and construction of satellite dialysis units at South Shore Regional Hospital and Digby Hospital
— renovations to NSCC Lunenburg
— funding for a new school in Yarmouth
— funding for renovations to Park View School in Bridgewater
— skilled trades centres at Central Kings Rural High School in Cambridge and at Digby Regional High School
— road improvement projects, including repaving 6.9 km of Highway 101 from the start of Highway 101 to Exit 34 at Hebron
— a new mechanical garage in Hebbville to store road maintenance equipment used from the South Shore to Yarmouth
— funding to create space for collaborative care teams in Shelburne
Southern Nova Scotia will also benefit from provincewide investments including:
— reducing taxes for more than 500,000 people through an increase of up to $3,000 to the basic personal amount, for incomes up to $75,000
— increasing the small business tax threshold to $500,000 from $350,000, reducing taxes for 1,800 small businesses
— support for the recruitment and retention of doctors
— a three-year investment in SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population
— funding to increase access to affordable housing, in partnership with the federal government
— a new target to reduce red tape for businesses
— enhancements to the Graduate to Opportunity program to help recent graduates land their first job in Nova Scotia
— 30 new pre-primary sites with early learning programming for four-year-olds with a plan to expand to provincewide in four years
— funding to hire school psychologists and speech pathologists
— the expansion of the reading recovery program in schools and an increased investment in coding and computer skills initiatives for Primary to Grade 12 students
— improvements to rural Internet access
Budget 2017-2018 projects a $136.2 million surplus. The surplus includes a one-time revenue increase of $110.3 million because of federal and municipal contributions for the convention centre in Halifax. The $110.3 million will go towards the debt to provide the fiscal capacity to launch a multi-year development of the QEII Health Sciences Centre, enhancing care for Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians. The resulting net position is $25.9 million.
Revenue and expenses (including consolidation and accounting adjustments) are both estimated to increase by 3.1 per cent from Budget 2016-2017.
Government will invest $515 million in roads, schools, health care and public infrastructure in 2017-2018 through the capital plan.
For more information about the 2017-2018 provincial budget, visit http://www.novascotia.ca/budget.