BUDGET 2021-22

A Path to Balance

A connected, affordable, inclusive Nova Scotia

Nova Scotians should be proud. We rose to the challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. We came together, while staying physically apart. We adapted and managed our public and financial health well. Our province was the envy of the country and the world.

As we embark upon our recovery, we have an opportunity to learn from the past year and work toward creating a fair and prosperous future for Nova Scotia.

A connected, affordable, inclusive Nova Scotia

Our strength is in our people, in all their skill and diversity. They build our communities and contribute to the quality of life that attracts people from across Canada and around the world to call this place home. However, we know barriers exist and systemic racism is a lived reality for too many people. More work needs to be done to ensure every Nova Scotian has the opportunity to thrive, and Budget 2021–22 will support listening and creating a more fair and inclusive society.

  • $100 per month increase to Standard Household Rate for adults who receive Income Assistance, with $35.2 million in additional funds
  • $1 million to support food security initiatives, including Nourishing Communities, to assist Nova Scotia’s most vulnerable residents access healthy foods
  • $564,000 increase to remove the requirement for Employment Support and Income Assistance clients to apply for Canada Pension Plan at age 60
  • $334,000 to increase the eligibility threshold for the Poverty Reduction Credit from $12,000 to $16,000
  • $29.1 million this year for the third year of initiatives to provide safe, suitable, and affordable housing under the Nova Scotia Action Plan for Affordable Housing
  • $7.3 million increase to housing authorities to support additional cleaning and public health compliance because of COVID-19
  • $8.8 million increase to support youth with complex needs or requiring safe placements
  • $7.1 million increase to support safe child welfare placements during COVID-19
  • $3.5 million increase to continue to expand prevention and early intervention child welfare programming for children and families at risk
  • $278,000 increase for residential placements and programming supports to protect sexually exploited youth
  • $1.1 million increase for the Property Tax Rebate for Seniors program that helps low-income seniors with the cost of municipal residential property taxes

Equity and inclusion

  • $46.7 million increase for programs that support adults and children with disabilities
    • $20.4 million increase to continue to move more residents out of Adult Residential Centres and Regional Rehabilitation Centres into communitybased settings
    • $12.5 million increase to the Disability Support Program for residential and community-based programs
    • $10.4 million increase in Disability Support Program to move participants out of hospital settings
    • $2.9 million increase to the Flex at Home Support Program to support more people with disabilities who live at home with their families
    • $500,000 increase to continue providing one-to-one job coaching for adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • $320,000 increase for the Accessibility Directorate, for total of $2.2 million this year, to support its work in achieving the goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030
  • $2 million to create and fund six positions at the new Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives to address systemic racism, promote diversity, and improve the economic, social, educational, and health outcomes of all Nova Scotians
  • $2.4 million increase to the Land Titles Initiative to address the legacy of systemic racism relating to land ownership in five historic African Nova Scotian communities
  • Partnering with the federal government to consult with the community on an African Nova Scotian justice plan, recognizing the overrepresentation of African Nova Scotians in the justice system and issues of systemic racism in policing
  • $2.3 million increase for therapy supports for survivors of sexual assault, for a total investment of $2.8 million this year
  • $153,000 increase in permanent funding to the Human Rights Commission for in-house legal counsel for Board of Inquiry Hearings

Child care and education

  • $2.1 million increase for the now fully implemented pre-primary program available across the province, for a total of $53.4 million this year
  • $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 $60 million
  • $9.5 million to maintain the enhanced cleaning recommendations from Public Health to support COVID-19 safe schools
  • $8 million to complete previous initiatives that support the safe reopening of schools and online learning due to COVID-19 during this school year

Infrastructure in every region

  • $217.2 million for school capital construction projects, including major design, build, and renovation projects for schools, and for the purchase of four P-3 schools
  • $467 million for Nova Scotia’s roads, highways, and bridges, and equipment with continued work on multi-year projects to twin 100-series highways, including Highway 101 (Three Miles Plains to Falmouth), Highway 103 (Ingramport to Hubbards), and Highway 104 (Sutherlands River to Antigonish), and to complete the Highway 107 Extension Sackville- Bedford-Burnside Connector
  • $285,000 increase for maintenance on Nova Scotia highways, for a total of $119.6 million
  • Continued funding to build the NSCC Marconi Campus on the Sydney waterfront

An economy where business can grow

Nova Scotia entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal and economic position, but COVID-19 has had a significant impact on business, many of our sectors, and Nova Scotians. Containing the COVID-19 pandemic and getting people vaccinated are key to helping create a thriving economy so businesses can grow.

Government will reduce regulatory burden, stimulate economic activity, and continue on a path that respects the hard work of Nova Scotians. We will seize the opportunity to create the talent pool to make Nova Scotia a place where companies will invest, grow their firms, and create good jobs.

Strong financial management creates the environment to attract investment, too. That is why government is focused on getting back to balance after this COVID crisis. We have a plan that takes us to balance over the next four years.


  • $723,000 increase for Unama’ki Pathways in Technology, Early College High School, an integrated partnership program for Mi’kmaq students with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and developing workplace skills
  • $323,000 increase to the Technology Advantage program that brings together high schools, NSCC, and the IT sector through a partnership with NSCC and IBM
  • $3.7 million increase to the operating grant for universities to train and educate our workforce of the future
  • $1.3 million for the first year of a new five-year Nova Scotia Quality Wine Strategy
  • $1.5 million for the first year of a new five-year Aquaculture Expansion Strategy
  • $1.2 million to support the hospitality industry by expanding the 10 per cent Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation discount to include bottled and canned beer, cider and ready-to-drink products
  • $1 million to continue the NSBI Digital Adoption Program that supports Nova Scotia businesses to rapidly adopt digital tools and innovations
  • $1.1 million to continue the digital content marketing program to support tourism operators implement customized digital marketing campaigns
  • $529,000 continued funding to support the RADIATE Tourism Program to help businesses and organizations develop and promote compelling travel packages to local and Maritime travellers
  • $252,000 to expand the Office of Immigration and Population Growth to attract and retain more newcomers to the province
  • Setting a new target to reduce government’s regulatory burden on business by $10 million in 2021, which is in addition to the $50 million in net annual savings for business since 2017
  • An additional Business Navigator at the Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness
  • Continued funding to revitalize provincial tourism icons, including Peggy’s Cove and the Halifax Waterfront
  • $7.6 million in focused funding for active transportation and public transit initiatives under new Department of Transportation and Active Transit