A major bond-rating agency has given Nova Scotia a positive outlook, helping the province to lower the cost of borrowing money. The Dominion Bond Rating Service has changed the trend on Nova Scotia’s long-term debt to positive from stable. The rating is confirmed at A (low). Short-term debt has been confirmed at R-1 (low), with a stable trend. “We have been working hard to improve Nova Scotia’s finances, and by any number of measures our efforts are paying off,” said Finance Minister Peter Christie. “It’s helpful to have this work recognized with a positive outlook from a bond rating agency.” The change is supported by “notable improvement in the province’s debt and fiscal profiles,” according to the service’s news release, issued today, June 21. The release goes on to say, “Continued prudent budgeting and cost control will support further improvement in fiscal results.” In giving the positive trend change, the agency cited the positive effects of applying the $830 million from the Atlantic Accord to the debt, and the agreement with teachers earlier this year to stabilize their pension plan. Dominion Bond Rating Service indicated it may review its position on Nova Scotia’s rating again if the current fiscal and debt targets are met and the outlook remains favourable. The rating service upgraded Nova Scotia’s credit rating in August 2003, for the first time. The rating went from BBB (high) to A (low). Nova Scotia has also received credit-rating upgrades from two other rating agencies since that time.