Coronavirus Disease - COVID-19
*Provincial State of Emergency*
On March 22, the Province of Nova Scotia declared a state of emergency to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The state of emergency was renewed with an extension to noon on October 4.
NSFM has cancelled the fall conference in Halifax, spring regional meetings around the province and the May conference in Sydney: Read the advisory.
Current Status in Nova Scotia
- Nova Scotia has 1,086 positive test results with individuals affected ranging in age from under ten to over 90.
- The province has recorded 65 deaths from COVID-19.
- There are 11 Coronavirus test centres around the province, you can find them here
- Call 811, speak to a registered nurse and make an appointment before going to a centre
- Use the self assessment tool on the 811 website to know when to call
RMA Business Services is a division of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA), one of NSFM's sister associations in Western Canada. Through this partnership, NSFM can offer members preferential pricing and service on programs covering Health & Safety Clothing and Essential Protection Equipment required to deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. Find out more here.
Notices and Closures
To find the latest and most recent notices and closures please click here.
COVID-19 Property Tax Financing Program
On April 28, the Province announced a new operating loan program to help municipalities with financial losses due to COVID-19.
The $380 million loan program, which was developed in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities and the Association of Municipal Administrators, will be available through the Municipal Finance Corporation. Municipalities interested in accessing a loan will first need to determine their revenue shortfall.
Municipal councils will be required to pass a resolution and submit it to the Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The department will analyze requests and if approved will forward the approval to the Nova Scotia Municipal Finance Corporation. Upon approval by the corporation’s board of directors it will administer a loan agreement.
- Municipalities will have six months to begin repayment and three years to fully repay the loan
- Funds will be disbursed to municipalities by the Municipal Finance Corporation within 24 hours of the agreement being signed.
Read the media coverage of the announcement to learn more about the program.
Provincial Economic Relief Programs
Automatic payment suspensions until September 30 for:
- Student Loans
- No tenant can be evicted because their income has been impacted by COVID-19, effective March 19 for the next three months.
- The provincial government encourages retail and commercial landlords to defer lease payments for the next three months for businesses that had to close directly due to the public health order. Landlords who participate by granting such businesses a three-month deferral and register by April 3 will be able to claim losses of up to $5,000 per month, if the renting business does not continue operating. Landlords are not permitted to change locks or seize property of businesses who cannot pay rent, if the business closed directly because of COVID-19 public health orders.
For more information, click here.
Other provincial government investment includes:
- Providing $15 million as an incentive to providers to speed up projects under the Internet for Nova Scotia Initiative to complete them as soon as possible
- Investing $200,000 to support transition houses as well as other organizations that serve vulnerable women and children
- Investing $55,000 to support 12 smaller community food banks
- Investing $2.2 million so that every individual and family member on income assistance will receive an additional $50 starting Friday, March 20, to help pay for food, cleaning supplies and personal care items. People do not need to apply.
- $1 million to help Feed Nova Scotia purchase food and hire more staffEmergency funding of $230,000 for Senior Safety Programs and Community Links to help vulnerable older adults
Federal Economic Relief Programs
On April 1st, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance announced further details of the new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. This program will provide wage subsidies of up to 75 percent to help qualifying employers retain and pay workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Publicly funded employers—including governments and Crown corporations—are not eligible for this new wage subsidy. Read why here.
On March 18, 2020, the Prime Minister announced a new set of economic measures, part of the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which will provide up to $27 billion in direct support to Canadian workers and businesses.
For the full list of programs, including supports to businesses and individuals, click here.
Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Canadian municipalities are responsible for a wide range of services, including hiring first responders, providing waste disposal and maintaining infrastructure. In an effort to provide financial relief to citizens and local businesses, some municipalities are introducing or expanding property tax deferral programs.
Designing property tax deferrals, a resource developed by FCM and the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance, answers 10 questions that municipalities should consider when designing property tax deferral programs, highlighting some considerations and implications.
Read more here from FCM.