Current majority government:
Premier: Tim Houston, Progressive Conservative
Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in NS: 55
Progressive Conservative: 31
Find your Member of the Legislative Assembly: here.
Environmental stance of majority party:
Tim Houston spoke out in opposition to the vote by members of the Conservative Party of Canada, deeming climate change to not be real, insisting that “the stance goes against his values and that of the PC Party of Nova Scotia”, instead referring to the “very, very strong track record of the Nova Scotia PC Party on the environment file”, including the amendment of the Environment Act in 2022 to repeal the current cap-and-trade carbon pricing methodology in favour of an output-based pricing system that would see large-emitters faced with further regulations and the financial burden of carbon pricing.
During its time in power, the PC Party of Nova Scotia has made efforts to address climate change across the province, including making amendments to the provincial Environment Act in 2022 to repeal the current cap-and-trade carbon pricing methodology in favour of an output-based pricing system that would see large-emitters faced with further regulations and the financial burden of carbon pricing (3).
The provincial party has made it clear that it is not in agreeance with the federal Conservative Party of Canada’s stance on climate change, including the vote in which the federal party deemed that climate change is not real. Premier Tim Houston has made it clear that these actions “go against his values and that of the PC Party of Nova Scotia” (4).
Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:
Total 2023-2024 Estimated Budget: $13,850,652,000
Total 2022-2023 Estimated Spending: $13,833,327,000
Environment and Climate Change:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $40,445,000 (0.29% of the budget)
Estimated 2022-2023 Spending: $197,164,000 (1.42% of the budget)
$156,719,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024
Fisheries and Aquaculture:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $16,633,000 (0.12% of the budget)
Estimated 2022-2023 Spending: $17,540,000 (0.13% of the budget)
$907,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024
Natural Resources and Renewables:
Estimated Budget for 2023-2024: $142,579,000 (1.03% of the budget)
Estimated Budget for 2022-2023: $191,238,000 (1.38% of the budget)
$48,659,000 projected funding decrease from 2022-2023 to 2023-2024 (5)
Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:
Environment Act (1994-1995):
Environmental laws of the province, to encourage and promote the protection, enhancement and prudent use of the environment.
Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (2007):
An Act respecting environmental goals and sustainable prosperity.
Importation of Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater Prohibition Act (2013):
Act to ban the importation of hydraulic fracturing wastewater.
Non-essential Pesticides Control Act (2010):
Act to prohibit the sale and use of non-essential pesticides
Water Resources Protection Act (2000):
Act to protect the water resources of NS
Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund Act (2010):
Act to establish the NS voluntary carbon emissions offset fund
Wilderness Areas Protection Act (1998):
An act to protect wilderness areas in NS (6)
Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (2021):
This Act solidified Nova Scotia’s emissions goals of reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 53% below 2005 levels by 2030, and having net-zero emissions by 2050, into legislation. This Act also requires the provincial government to produce a ‘Climate Change for Clean Growth’ action plan by December 31, 2022, laying out the government’s plan for achieving its climate-related targets (7).
Biodiversity Act (2021):
An Act indicating the parameters for the conservation of biodiversity on public and private lands, as well as the sustainable use of biodiversity as a resource while maintaining viable populations (8).
Endangered Species Act (1998):
An Act detailing the recognition and plans for the protection of endangered species and their habitats within the province in order to prevent further population declines (9).
Marine Renewable-energy Act (2015):
An Act containing the planning for the sustainable use and development of marine renewable energy sources and projects (10).
Specific government-based environmental programs:
Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia's Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth (2022):
The current provincial government’s action plan details how they plan to fulfill the 28 climate change goals set out in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reductions Act (11).
The Green Fund:
Over $73 million worth of funding has been provided to environmental programs across the province using the revenue collected from Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade carbon pricing program (12).
Next election date:
The next Nova Scotia provincial election is scheduled to occur on or before July 15th, 2025.
What makes this province different?
Nova Scotia was the first province to implement a requirement of LED streetlights, resulting in a 30,000 ton reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the province (13)
An extreme case of environmental racism occurred within the province of Nova Scotia within the community of Africville. Africville was a Black community in the province during the 1800s and 1900s, surrounded by harmful industrial complexes, with the City of Halifax dismissing the existence of the community, stating the area will “always be an industrial district”. Africville was ultimately destroyed for the creation of landfills, as the community members were forced out of their homes and left with unfulfilled promises of better living in the City of Halifax (14).
Tim Houston has vocalized a rejection of the federal carbon tax in favour of their in-province mandates, leaving open the ability of provincial accountability in which the federal carbon tax could be applied should the provincial plan not meet targets (15).
Check out this Shake Up the Establishment Resource: here.