The finance ministers for both Nova Scotia and New Brunswick say Wednesday’s federal budget is in line with provincial priorities.
“Pleased again that what they have in place does align with the priorities that we have in the province,” Nova Scotia Finance Minister Randy Delorey told reporters. “Anytime that you see our partners at the federal level making investments that align with our investment priorities, I think that’s going to be good for the people of Nova Scotia.”
Highlighting Ottawa’s investments in innovation, youth, and social infrastructure, Delorey said his first look at the federal budget is “quite positive.”
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Similarly, New Brunswick Finance Minister Cathy Rogers said she is “thrilled” that Ottawa’s priorities line up with those in New Brunswick.
“We have had investment in jobs and growing the economy as a number-one priority but as well, the supports to New Brunswick families and education, and I see these are also important as reflected in the federal budget,” she said.
Rogers said the budget reflects “great co-operation” between the two levels of government. The federal contribution to new transit projects will be calculated based on ridership and population which Rogers said New Brunswick had been advocating for. Funding for each province and territory for new transit construction and expansion will be calculated using a formula based on ridership (70 per cent) and population (30 per cent). In last year’s budget, funding for transit projects was based solely on ridership.
“We’re thrilled that we might be able to get more help in New Brunswick for public transportation and other infrastructure.”
All four Atlantic provinces are led by Liberal governments.
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The budget does not include specific funding details for the additional home-care and mental-health-care spending promised by Ottawa. Delorey said the details of the funding agreements are still being negotiated with the federal government.
He also said there are no measures that he can see that would adversely affect his own budget.
While no date has been set, Delorey says he plans to table a budget sometime next month. In its December fiscal update, the province said it had a slim surplus of $12.1 million.
— With files from The Canadian Press