Nova Scotia Wildfire Relief

For your business

Small Business Wildfire Relief Program - Applications Open!

Apply here

This program will provide a one-time grant of $2,500 to small businesses who received a mandatory notice to evacuate, or were closed for at least five days due to the fires in Halifax Regional Municipality and Shelburne County.


  • Business must have paid corporate tax rate for small businesses on income taxes in its most recently completed tax year; 
  • Have yearly gross revenue that is not more than $5,000,000;
  • Be registered with the Registry of Joint Stock Companies as a sole proprietorship, partnership, company, or non-profit; and have a Business Number from CRA;
  • Be locally owned and operated franchise (Atlantic Canada), if the business is a franchise. 

It should take 2-4 weeks to receive your cheque, providing your application has been completed correctly. 

Emergency Relief Grant for Individuals - applications open!

If you are living and working as a self-employed individual in Nova scotia, and experienced a reduction or loss of income due to the wildfires in Tantallon or Shelburne County, you may be eligible for the Emergency Relief Grant for Individuals. 

The amount of the grant varies according to the extent of the income loss (no income/reduced income).

Applications will be accepted until 11.59pm, Thursday, August 10, 2023. 

More information and the application portal can be found on the government website

Evacuation Registry - HRM

Businesses located in the area of significant impact on the evacuation map must register with 311 either online or by calling 1-800-835-6428. 

Tax remittance

If your business has been affected by the fires, you can apply for tax remittance relief from the CRA while you navigate these difficult times. Please follow the link provided for steps on how file for relief with the CRA. 

Emergency Preparedness

If your business has not been affected by the fires, however, you are located in an area where it may be at risk, now is the perfect time to formulate an Emergency Preparedness plan, should the unthinkable happen. If you do not currently have a plan in place, or don’t know where to begin, please follow this link to access a template.

Business Insurance

This is also a good time to review your business insurance to confirm whether or not you have wildfire coverage. Many insurance plans claim to cover fire damage, however in some cases this is only applicable to fire that was caused by the actions of the business or arson. Often, “acts of nature” are not included in business insurance plans unless specifically requested. Contact your business insurance provider today to ensure that your business is covered. If not, you may still be able to add this coverage.


If your business is affected by the wildfire, your employees will need the ability to collect Employment Insurance (EI). If you currently pay into EI, you will need this ability as well. To be prepared for this potential necessity, or to file an application, please visit this link.

Temporary Foreign Workers

Impacted employers who employ temporary foreign workers should note that periods of work stoppage, unemployment, or a weekly hour reduction, can be offset by periods of work that enable a worker to have an average of 30 hours per week over the entire employment period. 

Employers who make the business decision to keep workers are expected to make up any income gaps if the circumstances prevent a worker from meeting a 30-hour average work week over the employment period. This may require an employer to top up workers’ pay to meet the average of 30 hours per week over the employment period. This is not required during weeks where workers receive income supports. 

Temporary foreign workers are subject to provincial and, when applicable, federal employment regulations. Employers can legally layoff workers should a work stoppage make it impossible for the employer to fulfill their obligations under the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, under these circumstances, employers remain responsible for fulfilling other obligations under the LMIA, such as providing return airfare to workers where this is a Program requirement.

Should this not be feasible, if you have any questions, or need help with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, please contact the Employer Contact Centre

Work-sharing Program

The Work-sharing Program has put special measures in place for businesses impacted by the wildfires. These measures are in place from June 25, 2023, through to November 4, 2023, for new, existing, and past (terminated an agreement within the past 28 weeks) employers who:

  • Are located in affected areas and/or
  • Have major customers and/or suppliers located in wildfire-affected areas

Work-Sharing Wildfire Special Measures flexibilities:

  • decrease in business activity can be attributable to the Wildfires
  • mandatory cooling-off period between Work-Sharing agreements is waived
  • work reduction over the life of the agreement may exceed 60% but must be at least 10%
  • recovery measures may focus on the business’ recovery from the impact of the Wildfires

More information is available on the Work-sharing Program website or by e-mailing 

For your house/personal

Emergency Relief Grant for Individuals - applications open!

The grant is for individuals living and working in Nova Scotia, who experienced a loss in income due to the wildfires in Tantallon and Shelburne County.  The amount of the grant varies according to the extent of the income loss (no income/reduced income).

Applications will be accepted until 11.59pm, Thursday, August 10, 2023. 

More information and the application portal can be found on the government website

Financial Assistance

Eligible households - those who have been ordered to leave their primary residence by emergency officials - can apply for a one-time financial assistance of $500 via the Red Cross. Registration can be done by calling 1-800-863-6582, 8am-8pm AST, 7 days a week, or online

Home Insurance

Just like business insurance, you will want to get in touch with your home insurance provider to ensure that your house is covered for wildfire damage. This is much more common to be included in home insurance, however, it is always best to confirm. Additionally, if you have not catalogued goods in your house that you would like insured (that you would not be able to bring with you in an evacuation), now is a good time to do so. Take a picture of the item and receipt (if available) and write a description.

Emergency Evacuation Plan

Wildfires can move fast. If you have kids, pets or a significant other, it is important to have an emergency evacuation plan in place, including multiple evacuation routes planned (should one be closed), a house exit strategy, plus “ditch kits” (i.e., an overnight bag prepared in case you need to grab and run, including non-perishable foods and water). Know where you are going to go. Do you have family or friends you can stay with? Call them now to confirm so you don’t have to scramble and fight for hotel space. Having a plan in place will help you to maintain your calm and be prepared.


CMHC encourages homeowners to contact their financial institution at the first sign of difficulty to discuss their individual situations and options.

CMHC provides lenders with options for homeowners that may be impacted by these unfortunate events including:

  • Deferral of payment
  • Re-amortization of the loan, to result in lower payments
  • Capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses
  • Special payment arrangements
  • A combination of the above

For more information, homeowners may consult “How to Deal with Mortgage Payment Difficulties”.

Trip Planning

If you are planning to drive in Nova Scotia, you will want to ensure that your route is safe. Many times, when wildfires flare up, roads can be closed without notice. Please keep up to date on road conditions.

Other questions not addressed here

Community centres open

  • Evacuation Centre
    • Canada Games Centre at 26 Thomas Raddall Dr.
  • Comfort Centres:
    • Black Point and Area Community Centre at 8579 St Margarets Bay Rd. The comfort centre will be open from 7 a.m. until further notice.
    • Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre at 1583 Beaver Bank Rd. The comfort centre is open until further notice.

Resources for pets

Halifax Fire is asking everyone to take their pets with them as they evacuate. If you need a safe place for your pets, please call: 

  • SPCA: they are close to full now but can direct you - 902 229 8620
  • Halifax County Exhibition Grounds: 190 Exhibition Grounds Rd. for any animals evacuated from the fires. There is power and water in the barns, 2 arenas for turn out, a shower for you at Harrison House.

Where to get information

Twitter News:

@HRMFireNews - Not formally affiliated with HFD, but great information
School Closures

Several schools are closed today as they are in area evacuated or in close proximity. 

Halifax Transit Routes

  • Route 330: No service to Tantallon Park and Ride at 3664 Hammonds Plains Road. The route will start and end at Sheldrake Lake.
  • Route 433: No service on Hammonds Plains Road from Gary Martin Drive to Tantallon Park and Ride. The route will start and end at the West Bedford Park and Ride.
  • Route 83/183: The route will end on Crossfield Ridge. The bus will then turn right on Sackville Drive and right onto Melham Drive before heading to the Sackville Terminal.