Nova Scotia Provincial Budget 2017-2018 – Impact on Construction Industry
Dear CANS member,
On Thursday, April 27, the government of Nova Scotia released its 2017-2018 budget. There are a number of good news announcements for our industry:
Labour and Education
As part of the 2017-2018 budget, government announced an additional $2 million investment in the Apprenticeship START program. The incentive will be available to small and medium sized businesses and organizations (not-for-profit and social enterprises) who hire diverse apprentices or apprentices in rural areas.
Typically, apprentices attend 6-10 weeks of training a year, which equates to between $540 – $900 in tuition costs. Some employers also provide financial supports to apprentices. As part of the 2017-2018 budget, government announced that tuition will no longer be charged to apprentices for their technical training. This represents an investment of $1.3 million annually.
$1.7 million increase to the Graduate to Opportunity program and $1.7 million to fund a new program for employers to hire recent Masters and PhD graduates.
The government had previously announced an increase to the small business tax rate threshold and we are pleased to see that in the budget. The threshold moves from $350,000 to $500,000.
There has been an improvement in the basic personal allowance for income earners under $75,000 however, this does not represent general indexation, leaving Nova Scotia as one of two provinces that do not provide indexing on provincial income tax.
Undertake planning, design and construction of three new twinned highways over the next seven years, plus construction of four new interchanges.
Provide new and upgraded healthcare facilities in Halifax, Dartmouth, and Hants County to support the QEII redevelopment project.
Repair and rebuild gravel roads – $10 million each year of new multi-year program.
Build new schools in Spryfield, Tatamagouche, Bridgetown, Bible Hill, Sheet Harbour, Eastern Passage, Dartmouth, Halifax, and Yarmouth.
$40 million for municipal clean water and waste-water projects.
$38 million for affordable housing, including creating new affordable housing units and
improving affordable housing options, in partnership with the federal government.$14.5 million for rural high-speed Internet.
$1.3 million to increase opportunities for more export and trade, including a new export accelerator program.
$4 million to support innovation initiatives, including a new rebate program and more support for business start-ups.
$500,000 in additional funding to double the Small Business Development program.
$2 million to revitalize the province’s key tourism sites.
CANS has and continues to work hard behind the scenes to advance our priorities. I am pleased to report that many of those efforts are reflected in this budget. We will continue to work hard on your behalf to encourage investment in labour, education, apprenticeship, infrastructure and improved taxation.
As always, we want to hear from you. We want to know what is keeping you up at night as a member firm. Please reach out to my or any of our CANS team at any time.
Duncan P. Williams, ICD.D
President, Construction Association of Nova Scotia