Web strategy overview

Work continues in transforming the provincial government’s online presence, novascotia.ca, of over 150 domains, 1.9 million pages and 75,000 PDFs into a cohesive experience that better meets users’ needs.

More content has recently moved or is moving onto the new Beta website throughout Summer 2021 to Winter 2022. Content includes:

  • Add or remove a vessel from your Consumer's Exemption Permit
  • Adoption records (open adoption)
  • Application to Director to end tenancy (lease) because of unpaid rent (Form K)
  • Application to Director to resolve dispute between landlord and tenant (Form J)
  • Associate Mortgage Broker Licence
  • Business navigator service
  • Change your address: Registry of Motor Vehicles
  • Collection Agency Licence
  • Collective agreements
  • Collector Licence
  • Debt Management Agency Licence
  • Debt Management Agent Licence
  • Department of Advanced Education (department profile content)
  • Department of Agriculture (department profile content)
  • Department of Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage (department profile content)
  • Department of Community Services (department profile content)
  • Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (department profile content)
  • Department of Health and Wellness (department profile content)
  • Department of Intergovernmental Affairs (department profile content)
  • Department of Justice (department profile content)
  • Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration (department profile content)
  • Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (department profile content)
  • Department of Public Works (department profile content)
  • Department of Seniors and Long-term Care (department profile content)
  • Deputy Issuer of: Registration
  • Driver Licence Renewal (class 5, 6 and 8)
  • Driving instructors and schools
    • Driver training instructor licence
    • Driver training school licence
    • Driver training schools
    • Motorcycle training courses
    • Verification of licensed driving instructor
  • Employee contact directory
  • Executive Council Office (office profile content)
  • Final insurance report for insured fire losses
  • Fire incident reporting: fire services
  • GeoNOVA
  • Get a tax refund on a verifiable permanent loss of vaping products
  • Health card change of address
  • Housing report
  • Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (green infrastructure projects)
  • Knowledge tests (class 6)
  • Knowledge tests (class 7)
  • Knowledge tests (class 8)
  • Land Use Planning
  • Liquor licence public consultation notices
  • Local Division Registrar of Deaths: Registration
  • Marriage Licences
  • Marriage: Registration of Clergy
  • Mortgage Broker Licence
  • Mortgage Brokerage Licence
  • Mortgage Lender Licence
  • Office of Acadian Affairs (office profile content)
  • Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs (office profile content)
  • Office of Equity and Anti-Racism (office profile content)
  • Office of Gaelic Affairs (office profile content)
  • Office of Healthcare Professionals Recruitment (office profile content)
  • Office of Immigration and Population Growth (office profile content)
  • Office of Infrastructure and Housing (office profile content)
  • Office of L’nu Affairs (office profile content)
  • Office of Mental Health and Addictions (office profile content)
  • Office of Regulatory Affairs and Service Effectiveness (office profile content)
  • Online Dealer Services
  • Open Data
  • Race-based health data
  • Preliminary insurance report for insured fire losses
  • Public Register of Mortgage Companies
  • Public services sustainability
  • Recover your tourist accommodation registration number
  • Renew a Collection Agency Licence
  • Renew a Collector Licence (for individuals)
  • Renew a Debt agent Licence
  • Renew a Debt Management Company Licence
  • Renew a Debt Management Licence (for individuals)
  • Search for fire incident reports filed with the Office of the Fire Marshal
  • Senior's Care Grant
  • Tourist Accommodation Registration Renewal
  • Vendor and client direct deposit payment

For content not yet on the improved website, you will need to visit their old websites linked from the improved website to find their content.

The updated and improved novascotia.ca focuses on:

  • explaining what government is doing and why
  • providing clearer, easier access to government programs and services
  • sharing information that individuals or businesses are looking for

Where in the world our users come from

Top countries

Canada 90%
United States 5.1%
France 0.1%
China 0.9%
All others 3.9%

Based on web analytics data for 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021

Within Canada

Nova Scotia 77.8%
Ontario 9.1%
Quebec 4.7%
New Brunswick 3%
Alberta 1.5%
British Columbia 1.4%
Prince Edward Island 0.9%
Newfoundland 1.0%
Manitoba 0.2%
Saskatchewan 0.2%

Based on web analytics data for 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021

Project scope

The project applies to all of government’s public-facing websites, including individual department websites and over 300 department-related domains.

Websites that are out of scope of this project include websites for legislative offices and entities that are arms-length from government such as agencies, boards or commissions (like artsns.ca, gamingns.ca and novascotia.com) and often have nongovernment URLs.

Department intranet and extranet websites are also excluded from this project.

Project phases and timeline

16out of 34 departments and offices have moved

The first phase involves publishing web content. Since October 2018, content from 14 departments moved onto the new website:

  • Communications Nova Scotia
  • Department of Community Services
  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Department of Energy and Mines (moving to Department of Natural Resources and Renewables)
  • Department of Finance and Treasury Board
  • Department of Inclusive Economic Growth (now Department of Economic Development)
  • Department of Infrastructure and Housing (moving to Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing)
  • Department of Labour and Advanced Education Education (moving to Department Advanced Education and Department of Department of Labour, Skills and Immigration)
  • Department of Municipal Affairs (now Department of Municipal Affairs and Housing)
  • Department of Seniors (now Department of Seniors and Long-term care)
  • Department of Service Nova Scotia and Internal Services
  • Emergency Management Office
  • Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives
  • Office of the Fire Marshal
  • Office of Workplace Mental Health
  • Public Service Commission

Other departments are working on finalizing their content, which will be updated and are targeted to go online by Spring 2022.

Government will continue to work on redeveloping transactions (like forms, digital services and web applications), documents, charts, visuals and other web assets. This first ‘publishing content’ phase includes ‘start pages’ pages for current transactions, new digital services and documents. The information on these pages makes it easy for users to understand where and how they can complete a task.

The ongoing web content maintenance program with content leads ensures information remains accurate and up to date moving forward.

Content and structure

pages published
paper plane
pieces ready to publish
pieces of content translated
code file
content teams

We’re applying content criteria to remove outdated, inaccurate and unneeded content to make sure that only the information users need is online.

Because most users come to government’s websites looking for a specific program or service, content is organized with user needs in mind. The updated website uses plain language that the public can easily understand. The design of the website is clean and simple, and optimized to improve access for everyone, regardless of their ability, device, situation, or location.

Following user flow testing, user research and best practices, information is being published in one place and we’re arranging the content by topics, services, programs, departments or by searching so it’s easier for users to find what they’re looking for. Users won’t have to understand government’s organizational structure to find what they’re looking for.

Retiring old websites

More than
redirects configured

When content is launched on the updated website, the old web pages will be retired and archived.

URLs from the old web pages will redirect to the same content on the updated web pages whenever possible. If a piece of content from the old website wasn’t included on the updated website, the user will be redirected to the department that owns it.


The improved website also sets a new standard for user accessibility, whether they’re using a computer, a mobile phone or assistive technology.

Many of the PDFs online aren’t accessible to users with disabilities. Web publishing requirements and standards will be reviewed and updated as part of government's accessibility plan for Nova Scotia.

Mobile 36.5%
Desktop 58.5%
Tablet 5.0%

Based on web analytics data for 01 September 2021 - 31 October 2021