Guidelines to Loans for Fire Departments

Fire Departments in Nova Scotia are incorporated in many different ways. They may be municipally owned, incorporated under the Rural Fire District Act, incorporated under special legislation or incorporated under the Societies Act. Options for funding the acquisition of capital assets depends on the way in which the fire department was incorporated. A list of legislation concerning the acquisition of capital assets is included pdf here (418 KB) .

In order to borrow or acquire capital assets through a municipality a fire department must be registered. The process for registering a fire department is outlined in the Municipal Government Act.

The first step in determining the methods available to fund capital acquisitions is to verify the way the fire department is incorporated. This may require researching legislation or inquiring at the Registry of Joint Stocks.

The following outlines how different fire departments may acquire capital assets.

All Fire Departments

  • may receive a grant from a municipality for capital assets
  • may receive a loan from a municipality for capital assets
  • may receive a grant or loan of assets without charge from a municipality

Fire Departments incorporated under the Rural Fire District Act

  • may borrow directly from a bank
  • may borrow from Municipal Finance Corporation with a municipal guarantee

Fire Departments incorporated under special legislation

  • incorporating legislation must be analyzed to determine if the fire department qualifies as a “service commission” under the Municipal Finance Corporation Act thereby enabling it to borrow in its own name with a municipal guarantee. To qualify the fire department must provide a municipal service and have taxing powers.

Fire Departments incorporated under the Societies Act

  • may NOT borrow directly from Municipal Finance Corporation (a registered fire department is not a municipal enterprise under the Municipal Finance Corporation Act)