Nova Scotia will receive $289 million from the federal government to help cover its COVID-19 response.
The provincial government announced on Wednesday that the funds will come from the provincial-federal-territorial safe restart agreement, a $19-billion fund announced in July.
“Nova Scotia is working closely with the federal government and other provinces and territories to respond to COVID-19, and ensure individuals and businesses have services and supports they need to help ease the challenges,” said Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release.
Nova Scotia says the funds will be doled out as follows:
- $77.3 million to increase testing and contact tracing, enhance provincial border entry control and monitoring and upgrade data management
- $77.3 million to support Nova Scotia’s tracking and reporting system and to ensure the province’s supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) is stocked
- $67.5 million to help municipalities address lower revenue from transit and taxes, as well as increased costs associated with COVID-19 protection measures.
- $19.1 million for measures to control and prevent infections among vulnerable populations, including long-term care facilities
- $17.4 million to help child care centres provide PPE and support new cleaning protocols and public health measures
Most of the federal funding is allocated on a per capita basis or a base plus per capita base, the province said.
All funding will be spent in the next six months, according to a provincial press release.
The news of more funding has been welcomed by the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities (NSFM).
The organization said in a press release that its member bore the brunt of the pandemic when they lost almost all of the non-tax revenue streams when residents were forced to stay home.
A report prepared by the NSFM in June details how the province’s municipalities were forecasting a $66.5 million shortfall for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
The loss in revenue from municipal transport services is expected to amount to $23 million of that total.
But the funding from the safe restart agreement means that shortfall will now be covered.
“Today’s Safe Restart Agreement brings much-needed relief for municipalities who have been on the front lines of COVID-19,” says Yarmouth mayor and NSFM president Pam Mood.
“Without an ability to access additional sources of revenue, or run a deficit, this funding will ensure Nova Scotia municipalities are in a solid financial position going ahead in 2020-21.”View link »