Crumbling bridges, highways and buildings in Nova Scotia — among other things — are expected to get a boost today as the government tables its budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
Premier Rodney MacDonald yesterday reiterated his top five priorities for spending over the next year.
“Protecting the environment; educating to compete; safer and healthier communities; better roads and infrastructure; and reducing wait times,” he said, listing the five focus areas.
There will likely be no surprises for Nova Scotians in today’s reading of the budget, he said.
“It’s solid and it focuses on our priorities and the priorities of Nova Scotians more importantly,” he said.
Opposition parties say they will wait to see the details of the document, and it’s not a given the budget will pass.
“I will attempt to look at this piece of legislation by itself and review it,” said Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil.
New Democrat Leader Darrell Dexter said he won’t rule out an election if it doesn’t meet the needs of Nova Scotians.
“Everywhere you go, people feel that the infrastructure in this province has gotten worse, not better; they feel that health care and access to health-care services has gotten worse, not better,” Dexter said.
He said he’s looking for a budget that outlines a clear vision and direction for the province.
The budget will highlight investments in the five priority areas, it will be balanced and an election is not in the cards, MacDonald said.
“I don’t think Nova Scotians are looking for an election by any means,” he said. “They had one less than two years ago — they want a minority government to work and they want for this government to work.”
One of the items expected to be tabled, CTV reported, is the end of provincial HST refunds for Nova Scotians who don’t heat their homes with electricity. They also hope to establish a heating assistance program for those who make less than $25,000 a year.