On March 26, the Province introduced the 2019-20 Nova Scotia Budget.

  • Our population is at a historic high. For the first time in a generation, population growth is nearing the national average.
  • Employment grew, on average in 2018, at the most substantial annual rate since 2004. As of February 2019 (which had the lowest unemployment rate on record since 1976 when the current Labour Force Survey was first published), Nova Scotia had eight straight months of employment gains.
  • For the first time in three decades, more youth are moving to Nova Scotia than are moving out.
  • Disclosed raised venture capital increased by 347 per cent from 2013 to 2018, a higher growth rate than the national average.
  • Record numbers of new immigrants have made Nova Scotia home, and more international students are choosing to stay than at any time in our history.
  • Exports have diversified to new destinations and products. Non-energy exports have risen 40.4 per cent (2010–2017), enough to offset the decline in oil and gas, while exports to the growing Chinese market have increased by 118 per cent (since 2014).
  • Government has balanced the budget since 2016. The net debt to GDP ratio continues to decline. As a result of strong fiscal management, Nova Scotia has among the top four credit ratings in Canada.


  • $500,000 increase for incubators and accelerators that support start-up companies, for a total of $1.5 million
  • $3 million as part of the three-year Building Tomorrow Fund to promote innovation and new product development for fisheries, aquaculture, and agriculture producers
  • $850,000 additional funding for NSBI to expand and enhance export development programming that supports Nova Scotia businesses, including the Export Growth Program
  • $1 million to continue to offer ACCESS-Ability grants for businesses to make accessibility-related improvements and work toward a barrier-free province
  • Within its existing budget, the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency will increase its START Program grant by $5,000 to employers who hire apprentices from underrepresented groups, bringing the total amount available to $30,000 over the term of an apprentice’s training
  • $350,000 provided to Clean Foundation to support 73 internships across the province this summer to do research, manage events, develop leadership skills and innovative ideas, and take on projects that help the environment
  • $800,000 to support the on-going operation of post-secondary sandboxes
  • $200,000 increase for the Productivity and Innovation Voucher program to connect Nova Scotia companies with local universities to drive innovation and global competitiveness
  • $3 million to create the Venture Capital Tax Credit to encourage Nova Scotian businesses and individuals to support funds that invest in new and growing businesses in the province
  • $12 million for the Innovation Equity Tax Credit to allow individuals and Nova Scotia companies to make direct equity investments in small and medium-sized Nova Scotia businesses
  • $2.5 million increase to Develop Nova Scotia’s budget to deliver on its new provincial mandate, including managing a plan to deliver better access to high-speed internet in underserviced areas
  • $5 million to double the Innovation Rebate Program to encourage private sector investments in innovation and productivity projects
  • $60 million for an accelerated capital cost allowance tax incentive to allow Nova Scotia businesses to recover the cost of capital investments more quickly, which will help them remain competitive with the United States
  • $2 million increase for Invest Nova Scotia to fund projects that will increase economic competitiveness and productivity in sectors and communities, for a total of $6 million


  • 4th year of balanced budgets
  • Projected $33.6 million surplus
  • “The One Nova Scotia Commission set a goal of 30 per cent net debt to GDP ratio by 2024. We are trending in the right direction and moving toward that goal. We reduced our ratio from 38.2 per cent in March 2014 to 35 per cent last year, and now project it to fall to 33.8 per cent by the end of 2019–20.” (Budget Address 2019-20)
  • $7 million in provincial contributions for green infrastructure funding to help transition communities to a clean economy as part of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Plan