Budget 2017 puts people first and delivers the help Nova Scotians – and all Canadians – need now, not a decade from now. It is an essential step to restore prosperity to the middle class.
With Budget 2017, a number of key measures are specifically focused on Nova Scotia, including:
✓ A major transfer of $3.1 billion in 2017-18, an increase of $87.5 million from the previous year. Of this, Nova Scotia will receive:
- $1.8 billion through Equalization, an increase of $56.3 million from the previous year;
- $967 million through the Canada Health Transfer, an increase of $22.8 million from the previous year; and
- $358 million through the Canada Social Transfer, an increase of $8.4 million from the previous year.
✓ Providing more – and better – home care and mental health supports for Canadians who need it – through an investment of $11 billion, over ten years. More specifically, the Government will provide Nova Scotia with an additional $287.8 million in the next decade, of which:
- $157.0 million will be dedicated to better home care – including addressing critical home care infrastructure requirements; and,
- $130.8 million will be allocated in support of mental health initiatives.
✓ Creating a new Strategic Innovation Fund that will attract, support, and grow Canadian business in dynamic and emerging sectors, such as agri-food, digital, cleantech and advanced manufacturing – through an investment of $1.26 billion over five years. This is in addition to the $325 million fund recently announced to support innovation through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
✓ Renewing support for Pathways to Education Canada, which helps vulnerable youth in Nova Scotia complete high school and successfully transition to post-secondary education and employment – through an investment of $38 million over four years, starting in 2018–19.
✓ Supporting the continued operations of Marine Atlantic Inc. – through an investment of up to $445.3 million including existing resources, over three years, starting in 2017-18.
✓ Providing support for the continued safe and reliable operations of Eastern Ferry services, including between Saint John, New Brunswick, and Digby, Nova Scotia; and between Wood Islands, Prince Edward Island, and Caribou, Nova Scotia – through an investment of $278.3 million over 5 years, starting in 2017-18.
✓ Improving access to pharmaceuticals to help lower the cost of prescription medication.
✓ Supporting trade and transportation corridor projects – including those along the east coast – that will help Canadians get their products to markets across Canada and around the world, through an investment of $10.1 billion over 11 years.
✓ Investing in a broad range of infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities – through an investment of $2 billion over 11 years.
✓ Making home internet access more affordable for low-income families and to provide them with computers, under an Affordable Access program* – through an investment of $13.2 million over five years, starting in 2017-18. *Budget 2016 previously announced $500 million to support expansion of high-speed internet for rural communities.
✓ Supporting the Small Craft Harbours Program – through an investment of$5 million in 2017-18.
✓ Continuing to expand aquatic invasive species programming that supports Canada’s ability to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, respond rapidly to the detection of new species, and manage the spread of already established aquatic invasive species – through an investment of $43.8 million over five years, starting in 2017–18.
✓ Helping clean tech firms in Canada grow, in areas including renewable energy from oceans – through an investment of nearly $1.4 billion in new financing, deployed over three years, starting in 2017-18.
✓ Establishing a National Strategy to Address Gender-Based Violence that will help the government make informed decisions to advance the goals of gender equality, fairness, and stronger workforce participation – through an investment of $100.9 million over five years, beginning in 2017-18, and $20.7 million per year thereafter.
✓ Supporting a Community Heroes benefit that will give the much-needed help to families of public safety officers who have fallen in the line of duty – through an investment that will be announced in 2018-19.
✓ Improving access to primary care and mental health services, home and palliative care, and greater support for maternal and child health for First Nations and Inuit – through an investment of $828.2 million over five years.
✓ Supporting scholarships for over 12,000 Indigenous students through an investment of $25 million over five years for post-secondary scholarships from Indspire, with additional leveraging from the private sector of $15 million.
✓ Providing the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS) to help them meet the growing demand from Indigenous Peoples for skills development and job training – through an investment of $50 million in 2017-18.
✓ Reducing barriers and supporting newcomers as they work to put their skills to use in the Canadian economy, under the Targeted Employment Strategy for Newcomers – through an investment of $27.5 million over five years, starting in 2017-18.
✓ Protecting, preserving, and revitalizing Indigenous languages and cultures, through an investment of $89.9 million over the next three years.
✓ Renewing and expanding the successful Pacific and Atlantic Integrated commercial fisheries initiatives and advance Indigenous collaborative management programming – through an investment of $250 million over five years.
✓ Ensuring the proper management of our national parks, national marine conservation areas, and national historic sites – through an investment of up to $364 million, over two years, starting in 2018-19.
✓ Creating cultural and recreational infrastructure to strengthen Canadian neighbourhoods and communities – through an investment of $1.8 billion over 10 years, $80 million of which will be invested in community educational infrastructure in official language minority communities.
✓ Attracting tourists and growing our economy. Budget 2017 proposes to:
- Make permanent $37.5 million per year in funding to Destination Canada, Canada’s national tourism marketing organization.
- Broaden tourism data collection through $13.6 million over five years, starting in 2017-18, and $2.7 million per year thereafter.
- Support development of Canada’s unique and authentic Indigenous tourism industry through $8.6 million over four years, starting in 2017-18.