NS Fiscal Update 20131219

Finance Minister Diana Whalen delivered the provincial budget on Thursday as the McNeil government carried through on its promise to hold the line on spending in its 2015-2016 budget. (Andrew Vaughan/CP)

The Nova Scotia government is forecasting a deficit of $97.6 million for 2015-2016, which would cut the budget
shortfall by more than half.

The government last projected a deficit for the 2014-2015 fiscal year at almost $221 million.

A look at some of the people who won and lost in this year's budget:


  • Public schools: $20 million additional investment for math strategy, literacy strategy, class size cap
  • Universities: $3.2 million for one per cent increase in university operating grants
  • Students: $24.8 million to maintain Nova Scotia Student Bursary
  • Seniors: $1.5 million in increased funding for Senior Citizens Assistance Program
  • Addiction and mental health programs: $1 million in additional funding
  • Home-care services: $3.8 million in additional funding
  • Caregivers: $1.8 million additional funding to expand Caregiver Benefit program
  • Those waiting for surgery: $2 million to try to reduce wait times for orthopedic surgeries
  • Children: Vaccinations for  meningococcal meningitis expanded
  • Artists: $6 million Creative Economy Fund promised for 2016 for members of film, animation, music/sound recording and publishing industries
  • Services for people with disabilities: $4.5 million funding increase
  • Sexual assault services: $700,000 to expand the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program to two more areas in the province


  • 320 full-time equivalent jobs in civil service
  • Film industry tax credit cut from 100 per cent refundable to 25 per cent refundable as of July 1, 2015
  • Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia eliminated
  • Healthy Living Tax Credit disappearing
  • Smoking: Two cents more in taxes per cigarette, meaning 50 cents per package. Effective midnight tonight.
  • 13 Land Registry Offices closing, mostly in rural Nova Scotia
  • Offshore royalties expected to drop 55 per cent next year to $19.4 million
  • International and grad students: Three per cent tuition cap lifted for this year only for university and NSCC students. Universities can charge whatever they wish this year. Next year, the cap goes back on for Nova Scotia students but international and grad students can see their fees increase
  • Environmental Home Assessment program scrapped
  • Nova Scotia Gateway Office cancelled
  • Seven camping parks will be converted to self-use, with no staff
  • Visitor information centres closed in Digby and Pictou