Text Size
  • Home
    • Budget Highlights

Budget Highlights

Building On Our Strong Foundation

Budget Overview

The Economy
  • Economic Performance 2008
    • Real GDP increased 1.8%.
    • Employment grew by 1.5% to 220,300.
    • Unemployment rate declined to 13.2%, down 0.4 percentage points from 2007 and the lowest rate since the 1970s.
    • Personal income growth of 5.2% and personal disposable income growth of 5.8%, aided by tax cuts in Budgets 2007 and 2008.
    • Retail sales expanded by 7.7% driven by income gains and high levels of consumer confidence.
    • Total investment increased 3.3% to $4.4 billion on the strength of residential, public sector and manufacturing spending increases.
    • Population of 507,895, an increase of 1,400 compared to a year ago and the first time in 16 years an increase was recorded.
  • 2009 Economic Outlook
    • Real GDP to decline 7.7%, as a result of a decline in exports of minerals, newsprint and oil.
    • Personal income and disposable income growth of 3% and 3.7%.
    • Retail sales growth of 1.2%.
    • Capital investment expected to increase by 9.4%.
    • Housing starts expected to remain strong at 2,648 units.
    • Employment expected to decline by 1% from 2008 to 218,100, but still expected to exceed 2007 levels.
    • Unemployment rate expected to rise 1 percentage point to 14.2%.
Fiscal Framework
  • Review of 2008-09
    • Fourth consecutive surplus, $1.3 billion before recognition of the 2005 Atlantic Accord, a record $2.4 billion after Atlantic Accord revenue recognition.
    • No longer receiving Equalization.
    • Net debt reduced to $7.9 billion, net debt per capita reduced to approximately $15,500.
  • Forecast for 2009-10
    • $750 million deficit forecast.
    • $383 million change related primarily to impact of market declines on pension funds.
    • $414 million revenue reduction related to unilateral action of Harper government.
    • Oil royalties expected to decline by $913.5 million due to both lower prices and lower production.
    • Program expenses to increase by $519 million.
  • Taxation
    • $11.5 million to introduce new tax reductions including $10 million in support of the Poverty Reduction Strategy; total tax measures of $776 million since 2007.
    • The corporate income tax small business threshold will be increased from $400,000 to $500,000 effective January 1, 2009.
    • $1.3 million to increase the dividend tax credit rate for eligible dividends from 6.65% to 9.75%, creating a more competitive tax rate on dividend income.
    • Effective for the 2009 tax year, the Labour-Sponsored Venture Capital Tax Credit rate will be increased from 15% to 20% and the eligible annual investment will be increased from $5,000 to $10,000.
    • Tax exemption for gasoline consumed by off-road equipment used in onshore oil exploration will be implemented effective April 1, 2009.
    • Effective April 1, 2009, commercial electrical permit fees will be reduced. For projects valued up to $500, the fee is reduced from $200 to $50 and for projects valued between $500 and $2,000, the fee is reduced from $200 to 10% of the value of the project. There is no change to the fee for projects valued over $2,000.
Building Infrastructure
  • Approximately $800 million in infrastructure investments previously announced including:
    • $277 million for transportation infrastructure.
    • $156 million for educational facilities.
    • $167 million for health care facilities and equipment.
    • $103 million for municipal infrastructure.
    • $28 million for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing infrastructure.
    • $20 million for Justice infrastructure.
  • Total roads funding of $235.5 million including land acquisition.
  • Anticipated $118 million federal contribution under various federal-provincial infrastructure agreements.
Working with Central Newfoundland
  • Total investment of more than $40 million this year for the Central Region.
  • Over $35 million for infrastructure projects in the Central Region including:
    • Millions for the Trans-Canada Highway within the region and $5.4 million for municipal multi-year capital works.
    • $5.3 million investment for repairs and renovations of health care facilities plus $4.6 million to improve the Central Newfoundland Regional Health Centre.
    • Construction of a residential treatment centre for youth with addictions to be built in Grand Falls-Windsor.
    • $2.3 million in spending on forest and agricultural resource road construction.
    • $1.6 million for maintenance and improvements of Newfoundland and Labrador Housing units.
    • $3.4 million to support the construction of an aquaculture facility in St. Alban’s.
    • $500,000 for upgrades to the College of the North Atlantic in Grand Falls-Windsor.
    • A further $445,000 investment for repairs and renovations of school facilities and additional funding for recreation grants, wastewater treatment facilities and Crown Lands.
  • $5 million allocated from the Community Development Trust.
  • $720,000 to relocate administration of the Home Heating Rebate program and the Parental Benefits program to Grand Falls-Windsor.
Investing in Labrador
  • $130 million investment to increase economic activity and improve infrastructure including:
    • $32.5 million to complete the Trans-Labrador Highway.
    • $52.3 million to place a hard driving surface on the highway from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Labrador City-Wabush.
    • $4 million for two new depots on the Trans-Labrador Highway.
    • $19 million for a new francophone school in Happy Valley-Goose Bay and two new K-12 schools in Port Hope Simpson and L’Anse au Loup.
    • $9.5 million for construction of the new College of the North Atlantic campus in Labrador West.
    • $5.5 million in new and ongoing funding through the Municipal Capital Works programs.
    • $4.7 million for continued funding for the new health care facility in Labrador West.
    • $2 million for the construction of a new pre-trial detention centre for women and youth in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
  • $465,000 commitment for the Labrador Winter Games for a total of $500,000.
  • $150,000 provided to Destination Labrador to promote Labrador in key national and international markets, to assist tourism operators to attract more clients and to help ensure visitors receive top quality services and experiences they expect.
  • $206,000 for an Innu Healing Path pilot program.
Strengthening our Health Care System
  • Record $2.6 billion investment for health and community services.
  • Investments to improve the delivery of health care in response to recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing and the Task Force on Adverse Health Events.
  • $21.4 million investment to enhance laboratory services, cancer care and health information management for a total investment of more than $75 million since 2007:
    • $5 million for the establishment of new positions such as patient navigators and a provincial director of pathology and laboratory services.
    • $2.7 million for the establishment of a provincial coordinating office to manage adverse event reporting and the hiring of five patient safety officers and five physician champions throughout the province.
    • $3 million to expand the adverse events occurrence reporting system.
    • $2.3 million for quality improvement initiatives including planning for a new provincial accreditation program and hiring 17 new laboratory and quality management personnel.
    • $3 million for new laboratory equipment, $3.2 million for a new radiation treatment machine at the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Clinic, $500,000 to advance planning for a PET scanner and $504,000 for new cancer drugs.
    • Funding of $1 million for the development of the electronic patient record.
    • $221,500 in additional resources for Eastern Health in support of the provincial cancer registry.
  • Additional $3.5 million this year to hire 30 new salaried physicians.
  • $663,300 this year to hire dedicated physician recruitment staff and to finance marketing and advertising efforts.
  • $2 million to advance professional development activities in the regional health authorities and enhance their capacity to address workforce recruitment and retention needs.
  • $5.1 million for Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine to address increased operating costs and to proceed with the expansion of the undergraduate training program for physicians.
  • $1.6 million to the regional health authorities over two years for Licensed Practical Nurses to receive continuing education in medication administration and health assessment.
  • $1.6 million to expand the School of Nursing by 10 seats, the School of Pharmacy by 20 seats, the School of Social Work’s bachelors’ program by 15 seats and the Social Work masters’ program by 15 seats and $450,000 to create a social worker fast track program.
  • Additional $50 million (cumulative investment of $173 million over past five years) for diagnostic, medical and other equipment.
  • $3.9 million to support the delivery of quality health care services including an eye care centre in Corner Brook, enhanced operating room capacity in urology services and operation of the new air ambulance for medevac services.
  • Health care infrastructure investments approximating $76 million for this year include:
    • Completion of the new long-term care homes in Corner Brook and Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
    • Site work for a new health centre in Labrador West.
    • Programming and site selection for a new hospital in Corner Brook.
    • Planning for the redevelopment of St. John’s hospitals.
    • Replacement of the Hoyles-Escasoni Complex.
    • A new parking garage at the Health Sciences Complex.
    • Establishment of an interdisciplinary research centre in human genetics.
    • The start of work on redevelopment of the emergency department at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital and the start of an expansion of the Dr. H. Bliss Murphy Cancer Centre.
    • Site selection of a new long-term care facility in Carbonear.
    • Planning for a residential treatment centre for youth with addictions and a centre for youth with complex mental health needs.
Restructuring Community Care
  • $7.5 million for the implementation of a new financial assessment process for determining eligibility for home support services, to increase the personal monthly allowance to $150 for clients in the long-term care and community supports system and to raise the liquid asset exemptions for those who receive home support or reside in subsidized residential facilities.
  • $16.5 million ($24.6 million annualized) to support a $1.71 per hour increase in subsidy rates for home support workers.
  • Effective April 1, 2009, the subsidy amount for personal care homes will be increased from $1,607 a month to $1,644 a month through an investment of $1.5 million.
Improving Mental Health and Addiction Care
  • Additional $2 million to advance mental health initiatives including enhanced child and adolescent psychiatry services at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre, assertive case treatment teams in the Central and Western Regions and the establishment of a mobile mental health crisis team to support Aboriginal communities in Labrador.
  • $775,800 to identify gaps in addictions services and to enable communities to play a role in preventing addiction problems among their young people.
Nurturing Children, Youth and Families
  • Creation of a new Department with responsibility for child, youth and family services.
  • $5.2 million for program growth and for the further development of multidisciplinary teams and other systemic improvements to the child, youth, and family services system.
  • $1.3 million ($2.4 million over two years) to enhance the foster care rate structure.
Reducing Poverty
  • Total investment of $132.2 million for 2009-10 to help individuals and families with low incomes.
  • Effective for the 2009 tax year, the Low Income Tax Reduction income thresholds will be increased from $13,511 to $15,911 for individuals and from $21,825 to $26,625 for families. Annual investment increased from $6 million to $16 million.
  • $492,300 to remove financial disincentives and barriers that make it difficult for people to work.
  • $3 million to improve access to Early Childhood Development, including an increase in subsidy rates for regulated child care and to strengthen and expand family resource programs.
  • Establish a Supportive Living Community Partnership Program through an investment of $1.2 million to help individuals with complex needs overcome homelessness and $1 million to establish a Provincial Homelessness Fund to complement the program’s work.
  • $13.1 million to build social infrastructure and capacity at the community level targeted at social housing and support for youth at risk of poverty. This includes $5.6 million for renovations and energy retrofits for social housing, $3 million for social housing units for low-income seniors, $2.65 million for a new, affordable housing program to provide funding to both private and non-profit housing groups and $1 million to fund engineering design and site preparation for new, smaller social housing units.
Reforming Our Justice System
  • $6 million investment this year for corrections, for a total investment of over $37 million.
    • Over $2 million investment in training, staffing initiatives and programming.
    • $1.8 million to improve the physical infrastructure of existing facilities:
      • Over $300,000 for security upgrades and the remediation of cells at Her Majesty’s Penitentiary as well as $200,000 to meet space requirements for enhanced programming.
      • $100,000 for renovations to the Labrador Correctional Centre.
      • $250,000 for the Corner Brook Detention Centre.
      • Over $100,000 for improvements to the Bishops Falls Correctional Centre.
      • $230,000 for improvements to security and living areas at the West Coast Correctional Centre.
      • More than $100,000 for the Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women for renovations to space used for medical and programming matters.
    • $2 million to construct a new pre-trial detention centre for youth and women in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.
    • Elimination of the $5,000 training fee for correctional officers to enhance recruitment.
  • Funding for the completion of the Corner Brook Courthouse, pre-planning for new court facilities in St. John’s, providing support for the Human Rights Commission, purchasing equipment for the Inland Fisheries Enforcement Program, redeveloping the headquarters of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary in St. John’s and additional funding for the RCMP.
  • $1.5 million to purchase living quarters for Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officers in Western Labrador.
Emphasizing Violence Prevention
  • $100,000 for the MultiCultural Womens Organization to support the integration of multicultural women.
  • Increased funding for the eight women’s centres.
  • $304,000 to support a specialized Family Violence Court.
  • $94,000 for enhanced employment readiness services for women.
  • $60,000 provided to Rigolet to help in planning for a Safe House in that community.
  • $100,000 for a province-wide media campaign to prevent male violence against women.
  • $1.2 million to establish a new Iris Kirby transition house in Carbonear.
Educating Our Students
  • Unprecedented total of $1.29 billion investment in education, an additional $130.9 million this year.
  • $121.5 million for school infrastructure including $40 million to increase the allocation for repairs and maintenance as well as:
    • Replacement of Davis Elementary and St. Teresa’s Elementary.
    • Extension of the cafeteria and new classrooms at Beachy Cove Elementary.
    • New classrooms at Roncalli Elementary (St. John’s), St. Bernard’s Primary, St. Peter’s Junior High and Upper Gullies Elementary.
    • New classrooms and a challenging needs suite at St. Edward’s School (Kelligrews).
    • An extension to accommodate new classrooms and replacement of the gymnasium at Virginia Park Elementary.
  • Increased spending of $50 million for the K-12 system to support salary increases, the continued implementation of the recommendations of the ISSP/Pathways report and programming for students. This includes $400,000 to support school board elections.
  • $300,000 to enhance the school bus inspection program.
  • $8.3 million in increased funding to the College of the North Atlantic and over $21 million for Memorial University including salary increases, the continuation of the freeze on tuition rates and programming supports. This year’s investment of $5.9 million brings the total investment relating to the tuition freeze to $71 million since 2005. Funding also includes:
    • $1 million to support graduate school fellowships.
    • $2.5 million to assist Sir Wilfred Grenfell College with the transition to autonomy.
  • In addition to the investment of $5.9 million for the tuition freeze, $5 million is included to eliminate the interest on Newfoundland and Labrador Student Loans benefitting approximately 49,000 people, to increase the amount of financial assistance students can access in up-front, non-repayable, needs-based grants and to decrease the amount of required spousal contributions to give married students greater access to assistance.
  • $34 million for post-secondary infrastructure projects.
    • A new campus of College of the North Atlantic in Labrador West and the renovation of various other campuses.
    • A backflow prevention system to improve water supply and the renovation of facilities at Memorial University.
    • A new academic building at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook.
Retaining and Attracting Youth
  • $3.9 million investment in 2009-10 to support implementation of a Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy.
Promoting Research and Development
  • Total investments of approximately $81 million.
  • Over $25 million allocated to the Newfoundland and Labrador Research and Development Council.
  • $3.5 million to enable the ocean technology sector to leverage new business and technology development opportunities in international markets.
  • $1.4 million this year toward the purchase of multi-beam sonar mapping and ancillary equipment for the Marine Institute’s flagship research vessel, Anne Pierce.
  • Additional $675,000 to develop a four-year applied ocean mapping program at the Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology and enhance fisheries research.
  • Funding of $315,000 to enable the Marine Institute’s Holyrood Marine Base to establish a facility for related research at sea.
  • $1.5 million for the expansion of the Core Storage and Research Centre.
  • Investment of $1 million for R&D initiatives in the agrifoods sector to focus on new or improved crops, livestock and best-management practices.
  • $300,000 to support the development and implementation of a forest science and innovation program.
  • $3.2 million in funding through the Commercialization Program.
  • Approximately $2 million in funding through the Innovation Enhancement Program.
  • $2.4 million to develop, design and conduct wildlife research projects.
Advancing Business Growth
  • $228 million equity investment in Nalcor Energy, including investment in the Hebron, White Rose expansion and Lower Churchill projects.
  • Investment of $7.76 million for the Energy Plan for initiatives in areas of petroleum resource marketing, geoscience data acquisition, data management, energy efficiency and conservation and energy innovation.
  • Over $900 million in economic stimulus investment including more than $175 million for the business community.
    • More than $87 million in business development programs to encourage long-term private sector growth, employment creation and economic diversification in all regions.
      • Approximately $59 million in tax credits and incentives including the Small Business Tax Credit, Manufacturing and Processing Profits Tax Credit, Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit, Film and Video Industry Tax Credit, Economic Diversification and Growth Enterprises Program (EGDE), Labour-sponsored Venture Capital Tax Credit, Direct Equity Tax Credit and the Resort Property Investment Tax Credit.
      • $12.9 million in Small and Medium-sized Enterprise funding.
      • $12.3 million for the Regional/Sectoral Diversification Fund including $8 million for new initiatives and $4.3 million for current commitments.
      • $1 million allocated to the Business and Market Development Program.
      • $500,000 each for the Ireland Business Partnerships and the Export Development Strategy.
      • $1.5 million in funding through the Oil and Gas Manufacturing and Services Export Development Fund.
    • $29 million in programming to enhance the Department of Business’s ability to compete for and attract new business investment from abroad.
    • Allocating $2 million (of a $5 million, two-year investment) to expand capacity and opportunity in the aerospace and defence sector.
    • New funding of $940,000 to advance the goals of the strategic cultural plan. Investment in excess of $25 million over past 4 years.
    • Additional $1 million for tourism marketing, more than doubling the annual tourism marketing budget to $13 million, from $6 million in 2004.
    • Approximately $3.5 million under the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy for several initiatives.
      • $250,000 for the establishment of a Fishing Industry Safety Council.
      • $2 million in funding to continue the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program.
      • $1.2 million for workforce adjustment initiatives such as transitional employment counseling, short-term employment support and intensified regional economic diversification efforts.
    • Aquaculture Infrastructure and Capital Funding:
      • $3.4 million to support the construction of an aquatic veterinary diagnostic facility in St. Alban’s.
      • $1 million for further infrastructure projects on the south coast.
      • $701,800 to construct waste water treatment facilities at seafood processing facilities in proximity to aquaculture operations.
      • $2.45 million in continued funding for the Aquaculture Capital Investment Program.
    • Additional $620,000 for exploration attraction and mineral promotion which includes an increase of $500,000 in funding for the provincial Mineral Incentive Program, for a record investment of $3 million.
    • Further investment of $6 million in the Forestry Industry Diversification Fund to assist the industry in identifying new products and markets. This is in addition to the $8.5 million carried forward from 2008.
    • $150,000 to extend the tourism season in the Discovery Trail and the Viking Trail regions.
  • Support for special events such as the centennial of Captain Bob Bartlett’s decisive voyage toward the North Pole, the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the colony of Cupers Cove by John Guy, the Juno awards, and the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver.
  • Increased investment in the Recreation and Sport Strategy of $675,000 including increased operational support for sports federations, additional community recreational programming, and initiatives to promote physical activity for underrepresented groups.
Sustaining Our Environment
  • $10.4 million for the assessment of former mine sites at Buchans and Whalesback and the remediation of contaminated sites at Hopedale, Northwest Point, New Harbour Barrens, and Baie Verte and Rambler Mines.
  • Funding of $1.3 million to help communities assess and adapt to climate change effects.
  • Investment of $9.5 million to advance the provincial Waste Management Strategy.
  • $7 million to advance the Drinking Water Safety Initiative including $6 million for infrastructure to provide clean, safe drinking water including potable water dispensing systems.
  • Total investment of $5.8 million for energy efficiency initiatives.
    • $1.55 million for the Newfoundland and Labrador Energuide for Houses Program.
    • $1 million to allow the implementation of an energy audit plan for government-owned buildings.
    • $3.2 million for the Residential Energy Efficiency Program administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation.
  • $60,000 in funding for Evergreen Recycling to support their employment programs.
Last Updated:
This page and all contents are copyright, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, all rights reserved.