Nova Scotia's finance minister to present spring budget on April 4

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia Finance Minister Maureen MacDonald says she will deliver a budget next month that marks the culmination of her government’s efforts to repair the province’s fiscal woes.

The government has set April 4 as budget day.

The government had hinted in recent weeks that balancing the books for 2013-14 would be a challenge.

But Premier Darrell Dexter said Wednesday that the budget will be balanced because of belt-tightening by government departments.

The NDP government campaigned on a promise during the 2009 election to balance the budget annually after their first year in power.

While the government managed to balance the books in the 2010-11 fiscal year, it has failed to do so since.

In a statement, MacDonald says the spring budget will mark a milestone for the province.

It will be the first budget for MacDonald as finance minister and possibly the last before a provincial election is called.

Dexter has dismissed speculation that a snap election will be called shortly after the budget is presented.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the NDP government campaigned on a promise to balance the budget by 2013-14.