HALIFAX — Nova Scotia is reporting a $2.3-million surplus for the fiscal year that ended March 31 — a figure $31.3 million smaller than initially projected in the 2019 budget.
Finance Minister Karen Casey said today the province saw a $485.5-million increase in expenses, mainly due to $120 million in COVID-19 relief funding, demand for various health care and other social services, and the remediation of Boat Harbour.
Officials estimate the cleanup of Boat Harbour, which has yet to begin, will cost $291.9 million.
The Finance Department says there were also $40 million in extra costs associated with the now-closed Northern Pulp effluent treatment lagoons near the Pictou Landing First Nation.
At year end, the net debt was $15.2 billion, while the net-debt-to-GDP ratio for fiscal 2019-20 was 33.1 per cent.
In late July, the province said it would end fiscal 2020-21 with a $853-million deficit.
“Nova Scotia had a strong economy coming into this pandemic,” Casey said in a news release. “This solid foundation enabled us to respond with needed investments to support Nova Scotians and our business community.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 20, 2020.
The Canadian Press