Stephen McNeil’s Liberal government has announced details of Budget 2017-18 for Nova Scotia. This is the first budget of the new term for McNeil, following the election of a majority Liberal government on May 30th. The budget builds on the budget tabled in the spring, before the province’s general election.
Budget 2017-18 has a positive net position of $21.3 million on estimated revenues of $10.6 billion and expenses of $10.5 billion.
Included in the budget highlights were notes on several key investment areas in the infrastructure sector:
- Undertake planning, design and construction of three new twinned highways over the next seven years, plus construction of four new interchanges;
- Provide new and upgraded healthcare facilities in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Hants County to support the QEII redevelopment project;
- Repair and rebuild gravel roads — $10 million each year of new multi-year program;
- Build new schools in Spryfield, Tatamagouche, Bridgetown, Bible Hill, Sheet Harbour, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth, Halifax, and Yarmouth;
- $40 million for municipal clean water and waste-water projects; and
- $38 million for affordable housing, including creating new affordable housing units and improving affordable housing options, in partnership with the federal government.
Budget 2017-18 projects a $131.6 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 in future years for the continuation of the QEII Health Sciences Centre redevelopment, enhancing care for Nova Scotians and Atlantic Canadians. The resulting net position is $21.3 million.