A new report says Nova Scotia is unique among Canadian provinces when it comes to its lack of accountability for government departments that blow their budgets.
The province’s auditor general, Kim Adair, reveals in a financial report that for the past 10 years, successive provincial governments have approved $4.7 billion in extra spending with virtually no transparency or oversight.
And the report finds that the amount of extra money spent this way has tripled in the past decade.
Adair says the province’s Finance Act is the only one of its kind in Canada that allows for extra spending to be approved solely by the government of the day and is never subjected to a review, vote or approval by the legislature.
As well, the report says this process lacks transparency because the cabinet orders used to approve the extra spending are often vague.
Adair is recommending the province’s Progressive Conservative government improve accountability and transparency over the additional appropriations and assess whether changes are needed to align Nova Scotia with the rest of Canada.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2022.