In Canada, people pay income tax each year. This money is used to support important programs, such as education and health care.
More information about which programs are funded through your taxes is available by calling 1-800-267-6999 (toll-free) or visiting the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).
You want to keep in mind that:
- Generally, residents must send their income tax return to the Canada Revenue Agency by April 30
- Most people automatically have taxes taken out of their pay cheque throughout the year
- If you pay too much tax from your pay cheques, you will receive a refund of the excess tax that was withheld
- If not enough tax was withheld, you will have to pay the balance owing
- After you file your income tax, you may be eligible for credit and benefit programs such as:
- The Canada Child Tax Benefit, designed to help eligible families with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. More information is available at the website or by calling 1-800-387-1193
- The Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST) Credit, designed for families or individuals with low or modest income to help them balance all or part of the GST/HST that they pay. For more information visit the website or call 1-800-959-1953.
- The Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is designed to help eligible taxpayers who may need assistance in preparing their tax and benefit returns. For more information visit the website or call 1-800-959-8281.
The CRA also offers valuable information for newcomers. On this page, you can find videos explaining how to file taxes if you are doing so for first time as well as a whole video series on the Canadian tax system.
Finding work in Halifax
Halifax has a diverse, creative community and many established business organizations. Major employers in Halifax include the telecommunications industry, financial services, information technology, tourism, the healthcare sector, and all three levels of government.
TIP - Volunteering can be a good way to gain relevant local experience, make connections in your field and further your knowledge of the Canadian workplace culture.
Find a Job
The Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia (ISANS) has several programs for newcomers who are looking for employment in Nova Scotia. An Employment Specialist will begin by learning about your education, background, skills and qualifications. For more information, give them a call at 902-423-3607.
The Government of Nova Scotia, through Nova Scotia Works, funds a number of centres in Halifax to help all persons with a Social Insurance Number to find employment through different services and programs that include career development, resume building, workshops, interview preparation, among others. You can find a centre near you at the Nova Scotia Works webpage.
The Provincial Government has also a strong commitment to creating a diverse public service and to a workforce that represents the population that it serves. The Public Service Commission (PSC) works towards providing best practices in human resource management and to establish the Government of Nova Scotia as a preferred employer.
Work at HRM
Halifax Regional Municipality employs more than 4,000 people. We understand the value of a diverse workforce and are committed to inclusion. This is why we keep working towards creating an equitable workplace that opens a space for everybody.
As an employer, HRM offers competitive salaries and benefits packages, as well as professional development opportunities so that our employees can take advantage of available opportunities to start and/or further their careers with us.
We have a renewed commitment to promoting diversity in the workplace, and to create an organization that is reflective of the people that we serve. For more information and available job offers, check our Career Opportunities page.
There are also employment agencies that can help you find a temporary or permanent job for a fee. Make sure you contact more than one to compare what they can offer and what they charge. To review your options, look in the Yellow Pages.
Other Job Information
Some websites are quite helpful to learn about current job opportunities in HRM. Some of these websites are:
Cream (The Chronicle Herald)
All Star Jobs
Employment Assistance for Persons with Disabilities
TEAM Work Cooperative helps to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce by assisting them in finding meaningful work.
WORKink is an online career development service and employment portal that provides services to people with disabilities.
Apart from recruitment agencies and job sites, finding a job in Halifax involves connecting, or networking, with people in the community. This is a great way to meet new contacts and learn more about jobs in your field.
Below is a quick list of helpful organizations that may help you better understand how networking works and to start or broaden your professional networks:
- The Halifax Connector Program is a simple but effective referral process that helps immigrants, international students and local graduates who are employment ready to build their professional networks by connecting with local businesses, organizations, community leaders and career opportunities in their field.
- FUSION Halifax is a networking group for young professionals from 20 to 40 years old. These individuals are inspired to make their city a better place to live, work and play.
- Francophone Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business for HRM’s Francophone Community.
- ISANS offers a professional Mentorship Program that matches newcomers with professionals in their field.
- Third Wednesday is a monthly networking group for Digital, I.T. and Marketing professionals.
- BioNova hosts networking events for professionals in the Life Sciences industry.
- Centre for Women in Business is located at Mount St. Vincent University and hosts regular breakfasts and events.
- Halifax Women's Network provides opportunities for professional women to enhance their careers, increase their contacts, create a positive image, and strengthen their links to the community.
- Sip Chat Connect runs networking events in Halifax and across the province.
- The Halifax Mentors Circle is a social media-based platform dedicated to match professionals on a mentorship relation that also considers the social aspect. They also host networking events regularly.
Starting Your Own Business
If you are looking to start your own business, the Immigrant Business Development Services (IBDS) team at ISANS is there to help. The IBDS provides services and support to immigrants at all stages of business start-up and business development.
Their services include:
- Individual information sessions
- Training and networking opportunities
IBDS also creates connections between newcomers and the business community. For a list of resources available in Nova Scotia for immigrant entrepreneurs, visit their Connections Guide.
HRM also has a number of tools and resources available for you. Whether you want to do business or connect with organizations that support business growth, you may want to take advantage of these resources and find out existing opportunities or open new ones.
Running your Business
Once you have started your business, the resources listed below can be a great help to ensure its success:
- The Halifax Partnership (HP)
Halifax’s leading economic development organization. Through the Smart Business Action Team, the HP connects entrepreneurs with businesses and government organizations, provides them with valuable insights about HRM’s market and opportunities, and offers programs designed to help their business succeed.
- Halifax Chamber of Commerce
The Halifax Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business in HRM, advocating on behalf of almost 2,000 members and the 90,000 men and women they employ. The Halifax Chamber of Commerce offers networking opportunities with people in the business community.
- CDÉNÉ (Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse)
The CDÉNÉ is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic well-being and quality of life of Acadians and Francophones in Nova Scotia. The Business Development and Entrepreneurship Services offers advice to entrepreneurs and assists them with the preparation of business plans, feasibility studies and marketing plans. Additionally, it provides entrepreneurs with relevant insights to better manage their business and to help them explore new ideas and business ventures.
- The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education & Development (CEED)
The Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CEED) is an organization that helps people use entrepreneurship as a way to become self-reliant. Their programs are designed for everyone, from at-risk youth to newly landed immigrants to retiring professionals. Their team works with communities, both rural and urban, and aspiring and existing entrepreneurs of all ages.
Employment Rights & Responsibilities
In Nova Scotia, the Labour Standards Code sets the standard for employer-employee relationships. Both the workers and employers have rights and responsibilities under these rules. Both employees and employers have the right to file a complaint with the Labour Standards Division whenever they feel a rule has been broken.
It is important to understand these rules when you are looking for a job, or when you want to hire employees for your own business.
The Labor Standards Code sets:
- minimum wage
- vacation and holidays
- pregnancy/parental leave
- the right of retail workers to refuse work on Sundays and holidays
- rules for workers under 14 years old
- rules for workers under 16 years old, and more
They can also be reached, toll free, at 1-888-315-0110.
Minimum Wage Rate
A wage rate is the amount of money an employer pays an employee for each hour of work. In Nova Scotia, the General Minimum Wage Order sets minimum wage rates, which is the smallest amount of money an employer must pay an employee for each hour of work.
In Nova Scotia there are two minimum wage rates: one for experienced employees and one for inexperienced employees. An experienced employee has done a kind of work for at least three months. An inexperienced employee has done a kind of work for less than three months.
Human Rights Act
In Nova Scotia, it is against the law for anyone to discriminate because of age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex (gender), sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ethnicity, national or aboriginal origin, family or marital status, source of income or political belief or affiliation. These rights are protected by the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act. The Act also prohibits sexual harassment in all areas of public life.
For more information, take a look at the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It is also important to give a look at the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act for a more in-depth look at these rights in the Province.