Budget Bulletin Capital Spending Tomorrows Advantage

first_imgThe province of Nova Scotia’s total capital spending in 2006-07 is approximately $383 million for government departments, district health authorities, and Crown corporations. This represents an increase of $64.8 million over last year. IMPROVING OUR ROADS, HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGESCentral to this is the strategic importance of our roads and highways system. The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ overall capital budget for 2006-07 is about $199.1 million, an increase of close to $39 million. About $176.2 million of this is targeted to make improvements to the highways system, which includes roads, bridges, and highways. The province will continue to channel taxes raised from motor vehicle licensing and motive fuel taxes to highway construction and maintenance. MAINTAINING AND IMPROVING GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS In this fiscal year, about $22 million is allocated for renovations to government buildings and new construction projects. This includes renovations to Government House and to the Cobequid Centre. In addition, the province is investing in the construction of two new Justice Centres — in Lunenburg and Yarmouth. IMPROVING EDUCATION INFRASTRUCTUREGovernment continues to recognize the importance of modern equipment and facilities within our education system to enhance learning. This year $38.5 million will be invested in school construction in areas across the province. This year’s capital budget also includes $16.3 million for the addition and alteration program to enhance and/or replace major school building components across the province. This is to address building condition, environmental, and program issues. One of the schools to benefit from this is Memorial Composite High in North Sydney. Memorial, which has academic and skills training components, will receive $750,000 to purchase equipment for hands-on skills training. An overall capital investment of $24.8 million in the Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) will support continued construction of the new metro campus in Dartmouth and capital renovations and upgrades in rural NSCC campuses. An additional $1.1 million will also be invested in the new Dartmouth site to offer a training program for medical laboratory technologists. Currently, Nova Scotians must go outside the province to New Brunswick to train for this. LAND INVESTMENT FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND PROTECTIONThe government has allocated $19.5 million in capital funding to support land acquisitions to add to our important Crown land base in Nova Scotia, to conserve and protect environmentally sensitive areas, and to improve provincial parks. IT INVESTMENTSTotal capital spending on IT for this fiscal year will be $26.9 million. This includes a continued investment in the Department of Community Services’ Integrated Case Management System, a multi-year project that will modernize computer systems and improve the way services are delivered. The province’s Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) will also receive capital funding this year. PACS gives physicians instant access to results of diagnostic imaging tests, including CT scans and ultrasounds, and can lead to faster treatment decisions. THE HEALTH SYSTEMThis year, capital grants to district health authorities across the province will total $40 million. This will include $38 million in hospital improvements and $2 million in medical equipment. CROWN CORPORATIONSCapital Grants to Crown corporations total $7.83 million for this year. Capital purchases are directed toward land improvements, building renovations, and sewage treatment upgrade. -30- Note: For further 2006-07 budget information, see the Department of Finance website at www.gov.ns.ca/financelast_img