Budget 2018-19 Gives All Nova Scotians Opportunities to Grow and Succeed

Your Liberal government is making investments in health care and education, communities and the economy while maintaining a balanced budget for the third consecutive fiscal year.

With Budget 2018-19, we will recruit more doctors and improve access to health care, invest in classrooms and pre-primary, and support more Nova Scotians to participate fully in their communities and the economy.

We want all Nova Scotians to have opportunities to grow and succeed, and this budget supports that goal.


Budget investments in health care include:

  • $19.6 million more funding as part of government’s multi-year plan to recruit, retain and train more doctors, in addition to work underway
  • $8 million more for new and expanded collaborative-care teams across the province
  • $8.8 million to do 350 more hip and knee surgeries, create a central booking process, and hire more surgeons
  • $2.9 million more for mental health care, including more support for youth mental health
  • $1 million for youth health centres
  • $1.2 million increase in the Take Home Cancer Therapies program to help pay for medications
  • $5.5 million more to help seniors stay in their homes longer, including more home care support and expanding the caregiver benefit
  • Upgraded health-care facilities in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Hants County to support the QEII redevelopment project


Budget investments in education and early years include:

  • $17.6 million to add about 130 new pre-primary classes as part of a plan to have the program available across the province
  • $15.5 million to add new child-care spaces and to offer more subsidies to make child care more accessible and affordable
  • $10 million increase to implement new recommendations from the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions
  • $15 million to begin implementing recommendations of the Commission on Inclusive Education
  • $1.6 million more to expand SchoolsPlus into 54 more schools
  • $3.3 million increase to expand Reading Recovery to cover 96% of schools, with every school having programming next year
  • Opening four skilled trades centres this year at Amherst High School, Sir John A. Macdonald High School (Upper Tantallon), Richmond Academy (Louisdale), and Central Kings Rural High School (Cambridge)
  • Continue work on school construction, including schools in Sheet Harbour, Eastern Passage, Halifax, Spryfield and Yarmouth


Budget investments in safe and connected communities include:

  • $16.2 million increase in Disability Support program to help more people move out of institutions, to improve respite care, and to fund more complex client cases
  • $2.1 million to help create eight small options homes and two community options homes
  • $3 million to double poverty reduction credit to $500
  • $4 million for initiatives under the Blueprint to End Poverty as part of a four-year, $20-million commitment
  • $3.4 million to fully exempt child-support payments from income assistance calculations
  • $2 million to help prevent domestic violence, the first year of a four-year commitment
  • $12.4 million more to improve public housing buildings
  • $3 million to offer 400 more rent supplements to low income Nova Scotians
  • $60 million more for a total of $285 million in capital spending on highways, bridges, and roads, which includes $10 million more to improve gravel roads for total of $20 million
  • Work on three significant twinning projects and four new interchanges on 100-series highways as part of a multi-year plan
  • $2.4 million more to expand and support community transportation under SHIFT for older Nova Scotians


Budget investments in inclusive economic growth include:

  • $1.7 million to further expand the Graduate to Opportunity program to connect new graduates to employers, with added incentives for hiring diverse graduates and women in non-traditional careers
  • $500,000 more for incubators and accelerators, which support startup companies
  • $356,000 to help an additional 89 student interns through the Mitacs Accelerate program for a total of 250 placements
  • $1.5 million more to enhance work incentives for people receiving income assistance
  • $460,000 increase to the Office of Immigration to help international marketing and recruitment efforts
  • $485,000 to create a market-readiness program for startup companies
  • $2.5 million more for the Innovation Rebate program to encourage private sector investment in capital projects
  • $3 million for the Centre for Ocean Ventures Entrepreneurship (COVE) project to foster innovation in the ocean sector
  • $3 million for the new Building Tomorrow Fund to support innovation in agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture sectors
  • $5.8 million added to the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, in partnership with the federal government and the other Atlantic Canadian provinces

Government estimates a surplus of $29.4 million with revenue of $10.81 billion and expenses of $10.78 billion.