Nova Scotia (NS) Budget 2023 Highlights: New Business Funding Programs

Titled “More Healthcare, Faster”, the provincial government of Nova Scotia (NS) has announced their Budget 2023-24 plans with a total spending amount of $14.2 billion and a projected surplus of $1.1 billion. This increase over the previous fiscal year is due to increased tax revenues and federal transfers.

Want to learn more about other provincial and federal budget updates from 2023? Check out our 2023 budget highlights page for a collection of reviews.

The Nova Scotia Budget 2023-24 includes large-scale investments in healthcare, naming it the top priority and number one concern for Nova Scotians, with funding intended to grow the healthcare workforce and increase  access for all people. The budget also includes investments in education and climate initiatives, as well as funding for new infrastructure projects, affordable housing, and education. Nova Scotia will also support economic growth through increased tax credits and grants for small businesses.

“Budget 2023-24 is built with all Nova Scotians in mind – it reflects where we are today and where we are headed. It is focused on fixing healthcare and giving people more options for a healthcare system that Nova Scotia families need and provides solutions to build a healthy economy and healthier communities.”

Allan MacMaster, Finance and Treasury Board Minister for Nova Scotia
Watch our highlights reel from the Nova Scotia Budget

An Economy in Good Health

To ensure a healthy and prosperous future for the province, the Nova Scotia Budget 2023 is allocating funding to key pillars essential to the provincial economy’s success. These pillars include a stronger workforce to fill labour demands, innovation among businesses to improve on products and services, as well as community and environment improvements to prepare the province for a more sustainable future.

Attracting Skilled workers and Immigrants with Trainng Grants & Wage Subsidies

  • As part of the More Opportunity for Skilled Trades program, the provincial government will provide workers under the age of 30 employed in the eligible skilled trades or in film and video occupations a refund of taxes paid on the first $50,000 of their income;
  • $14.2 million is available to SME (Small and Medium sized Enterprises) employers that hire Red Seal apprentices in first-year apprenticeship programs;
  • The Government of Nova Scotia will contribute $943,000 to Nova Scotia’s multi-year modernization plan that aims to improve the province’s apprenticeship system as part of their goal to attract more skilled trades workers to the east coast;
  • In the second year of a commitment with Mitacs, the province will commit $3.4 million to create up to 3,200 additional paid internship opportunities for post-secondary students looking to establish a career in Nova Scotia;
  • As part of Community Services’ effort to improve career skills and prepare the next generation of workers, EDGE (Economic Development for a Growing Economy) and Digital Skills to Succeed programswill receive an additional $6.2 million to expand life and job skills programs; and
  • An additional $1 million will be provided to support immigration and population growth to ensure that Nova Scotia has a workforce that meets labour demands.

Innovating in the Business World

  • The Film and Television Production Incentive Fund in 2023–24 will receive $14 million more in funding from the federal government for a total of $39 million for the program;
  • Silviculture and archeological work will receive an additional $3.7 million;
  • Initiatives for the development of energy and resources are to receive $3 million; and
  • $1.8 million will be allocated to support the development of high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs.

Providing Support to Communities

  • A total of $498.5 million will be allocated to Nova Scotia’s roads, highways, and bridges. Of this, $60 million will be directed to secondary highways and $15 million will be directed to gravel roads;
  • The Rural Impact Mitigation program (RIM) will receive $14 million more to maintain and repair rural roads this year, bringing the total budget for RIM to $36 million; and
  • Operating grants for arts, culture and museums owned and operated by community group will increase by $5.1 million.

Funds for Environmental Action

  • $41.4 million is dedicated to Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Growth. This funding will be focused on energy efficiency and clean energy projects that address energy poverty and equity, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, moving away from coal to renewable energy, and creating green hydrogen;
  • $2 million will be provided to expand the electric vehicle charging network, offer rebates for the installation of charging infrastructure, and increase the adoption of electric vehicles; and
  • An additional $15 million is being allocated to green, transit, and rural/northern projects under the Investment in Canada Infrastructure Program.

Nova Scotia Healthcare Funding

Approximately $6.5 billion is being invested in the healthcare system by the government of Nova Scotia. Patient access to services and care will be improved, the healthcare workforce will be expanded, and healthcare facilities will be modernized more quickly thanks to these investments.

Workforce in the Healthcare Industry

  • Nova Scotia is providing an additional $110 million in retention incentives for nurses who commit to staying in the publicly funded system for  two years or nurses who sign a two-year agreement to return to the public health care system;
  • The government is committing $2.8 million to increase and improve the quality of clinical placements for nurses, nurse practitioners and other healthcare workers; and
  • $22.2 million has been allocated under the Action for Health program to support new initiatives related to healthcare workforce.

Faster Access to Care

  • Over $46.6 million in additional funds is being allocated to increase the number of surgeries and improve the speed of access to gynecology services;
  • Approximately $34 million will be invested in patient movement initiatives to improve access to care for more people. Among these initiatives are real-time data, more staff to help discharge patients faster, and more health workers; and
  • A variety of innovation projects have been undertaken to cultivate excellence in healthcare on the front lines. For example, $2.8 million has been allocated to test mobile simulation training, $3.9 million for digital healthcare projects, and $48.5 million for One Person One Record’s operational project costs this year.

Tax Updates From Nova Scotia Budget 2023

There are a variety of critical tax updates mentioned in the Nova Scotia Budget 2023. To see a comprehsnive review, visit the Ryan Tax Alert today.

Government Funding Opportunities for Nova Scotia Businesses

Visit our comprehensive Atlantic Canada Government Funding Directory to find out more about government funding opportunities available to Nova Scotia businesses. Additionally, we strongly encourage businesses to attend one of our free government funding webinars to learn about the top funding programs available across a variety of industries and business activities. 

Sign up for our free government funding newsletter to stay up to date on all new grants, loan offers, and tax incentives in your sector and region.

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