Manitoba and Nova Scotia have each enacted equity tax credit programs for CED purposes. Yet Nova Scotia has made much more intensive use of this capital-mobilizing tool.
Ten years after launching its program (1999), Nova Scotia has 48 Community Economic Development Investment Funds (CEDIFs). Over 4800 community investors have provided about $32 million in capital in over 90 successful offerings. Manitoba's Community Enterprise Development Tax Credit is only five years old (2004), but only $1.9 million has been invested in 12 community enterprises.
Four factors may explain the difference. Nova Scotia has a longer and stronger tradition than Manitoba of promoting co-operative and community development enterprises to redress the effects of marginalization. The Nova Scotia Cooperative Council has played a very active role in promoting and facilitating the use of the CED Tax Credit to stimulate co-operatives.
In both provinces the tax credit programs have attracted the most interest in small town and rural areas. These are more characteristic of Nova Scotia than Manitoba, whose population is more heavily urbanized.
But the biggest difference may be that Nova Scotia's program, unlike Manitoba's, promotes and facilitates a locally-controlled vehicle of joint investment, the CEDIF, through which neighbours can make long-term investments in initiatives of common importance.