Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia's capital plan lays out road map for infrastructure spending

Nova Scotia's government says it will be spending a total of $480.8 million on schools, highways and technology across the province in the coming fiscal year with a total infrastructure budget of $645 million.

Finance Minister Randy Delorey unveils capital spending plans, including money for convention centre

The province is putting $56.4 million into the Halifax Convention Centre, in partnership with the federal and municipal governments. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's government says it will spend a total of $480.8 million on schools, highways and technology across the province in the coming fiscal year with a total infrastructure budget of $645 million. 

Finance Minister Randy Delorey unveiled the capital plan Tuesday morning in Halifax. 

One of the largest components of the spending plan is the $164.2 million split by three levels of government to help build the Halifax Convention Centre, a figure that will sit on the province's books this coming year. 

The federal government will pay its $51.4 million share when the project, which is part of the $500-million Nova Centre, is complete. The province and the municipality will split the remainder and pay $56.4 million each. The city will pay its portion over 25 years, Delorey says. 

He pointed to the construction jobs that have been created and the future ability of the convention centre to draw events to the city.

"The value is going to play out over a large number of years," he said.

Few new projects

Because of the inclusion of convention centre spending, the budget appears to be a substantial increase from last year's $419 million capital plan. 

Unlike the provincial budget, the capital plan doesn't direct money to programs or services. The minister says releasing it in advance of the main estimates allows business prepare for the upcoming construction season. 

He says much of the work planned for this year relates to projects that have been underway for years. 

"We would like to do more, however this year's capital plan is a reflection of the fiscal realities in our province," Delorey said.

"It is becoming more and more challenging to invest in infrastructure. We need sustainable finances to allow us the flexibility to do even more."

Thirty-seven per cent of infrastructure spending will go to highways. About $100 million of that is for asphalt and resurfacing. Another $70 million will go toward new highways and bridges.

Highlights of the total spending include:

  • $222.5 million for highways and bridges
  • $56.4 million contribution the Halifax Convention Centre
  • $82 million to build and renovate schools
  • $26.5 million for hospitals
  • $30 million for information technology projects
  • $17.8 for vehicles and equipment 

The plan puts money toward the construction of eight new schools where the work is already underway. Delorey says there are no new plans for building schools this year.

Highway work includes upgrading the interchange of the 102 and the 103 Highways. The province also released its five-year highway improvement plan.

The spending includes updating the aging fleet of Natural Resources helicopters. There are plans to buy four new helicopters. The current aircraft are an average of 21 years old with the oldest at 35 years old. 

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