Dozens of civil servant jobs moved out of Halifax
Premier says more departments could decentralize in the future
- 34 agriculture jobs to Truro-Bible
- 25 maintenance enforcement jobs to New Waterford
- 22 fisheries jobs to Digby-Clementsport
- 12 aquaculture jobs to Shelburne County
The Nova Scotia government is moving dozens of civil servant jobs out of Halifax as it decentralizes some departments.
The New Democrats rolled out their plans on Monday, saying good jobs were going to Cape Breton, Truro and southwest Nova Scotia.
The Department of Agriculture head office is moving to Truro-Bible Hill, which means the relocation of 34 positions. One hundred and forty-one workers are already there.
The Justice Department is consolidating the maintenance enforcement program in New Waterford. Eleven of those positions are being transferred from Sydney, while another 25 are coming from mainland locations.
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Twenty-two fisheries jobs are heading to the Digby-Clementsport area, while 12 aquaculture positions are going to Shelburne County.
Premier Darrell Dexter said the relocation plan won't cost taxpayers over the long run because the price for moving employees will be offset by lower rents and reduced travel.
He said the government is looking at moving more jobs out of the capital city in the future.
"As departments become consolidated, as there are new functions of government that need to be carried out to look to for where they would be most appropriately located. Is this it for now? Yes. Are there going to be other opportunities for further devolvement? We think so," Dexter said.
New Waterford gains 36 jobs
Deputy Premier Frank Corbett announced the move to New Waterford in his own riding. He said it should be completed by the end of March, 2013.
Maintenance enforcement looks after collecting court-ordered child and spousal support payments. Corbett said it makes sense to manage all of it under one roof.
"It works well from a training perspective, it can be delivered in a consistent manner," he said.
New Waterford Counsellor Kim Desveaux welcomed the announcement, saying it sends a message to the business community.
"It says the province and other levels of government have faith in this community, so maybe I, too, should make an investment and consider re-locating and building in this community."
Meanwhile, Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau said "it makes sense" to move the department's headquarters to two fish harvesting and processing regions.
Several provincial employees told CBC News they were told not to comment on their upcoming moves.
Joan Jessome, the president of the Nova Scotia Government Employees Union, said her members are upset by the announcement.
"They have established their homes and their families and their lifestyle. They have partners that are working that don't get transferred, so it's not all rosy," she said.
Jessome said the province should focus on creating jobs, rather than disrupting the lives of its current employees.
"Businesses are saying it's good, mayors are saying it's good, government's saying it's good. But it's really having an impact. The people I represent had no intention of moving..." she said.
The government says no one will be forced to relocate.
Employees have until June 20 to decide if they want to relocate or try to find another government position.
The plan to decentralize jobs was first announced in the throne speech.