May 2, 2017

By Michelle Brownlee

In its second surplus budget in a row – and one that came just 3 days before an election was announced – the Government of Nova Scotia focused on tax cuts, highways and roads, and healthcare in its 2017 budget.  The budget, titled Opportunities for Growth, forecasts total expenses of just over $10 billion for 2017-2018.  While it would be a stretch to call the budget a big step forward on clean growth, it does include a few important measures.

For instance, on infrastructure and parks, the budget includes:

  • $40 million for municipal clean water and wastewater projects across the province;
  • $1 million for a new grant program to better connect trails, with focus on maintaining and enhancing the Trans Canada Trail; and
  • $1 million more to double the funding used to enhance roads, water systems, and buildings at provincial parks

While there is nothing earmarked in the budget for clean innovation specifically, there are some measures that could help businesses - like more funding for the Small Business Development Program, a new export accelerator program, money for forestry innovation, and money to launch Research Nova Scotia. There are also some measures to support workers -  including a number of initiatives aimed to support students and recent graduates to acquire skills and find work. These measures in part support a more innovative, resource-efficient, low-carbon future for Nova Scotia.