[WINDSOR, NS] — Windsor is about to benefit from the NDP’s jobsHere strategy.
Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris visited the site of the Haliburton House and Windsor Hockey Heritage Museum Sept. 6 to announce the provincial government’s intent to have the newly formed Nova Scotia Tourism Agency’s headquarters operating out of Windsor by the end September 2013.
“Our government is fulfilling our commitment to move good jobs outside of metro and support families and businesses in rural Nova Scotia,” Paris said.
The future location of the government agency has yet to be determined, but Paris said work is underway to find a building fitting for an agency with 34 office staff.
“For years government centralized jobs in the city while rural communities struggled. Today, I’m proud to say that we are doing things differently,” he said.
“It just makes sense to set up this new agency where it will have a greater impact.”
He said proximity to the city, and many other areas of Nova Scotia boasting popular tourist attractions, tipped the scales in Windsor’s favour.
“The community is central to many tourism destinations and it is within commuting distance to many of our industry and government partners who are going to be located in Halifax.”
He told reporters he hopes the move will ultimately prove to be cost neutral, as the government expects to be shelling out fewer dollars to rent outside of the city.
Staff at the now Halifax-based tourism agency learned of the decision to decentralize the morning of the announcement, Paris said.
When asked how the affected staff reacted, he said it would be fair to assume they would need some time to mull it over.
Municipality of West Hants Warden Richard Dauphinee commended the government for making a move that will benefit three municipalities that have recently faced hardship.
“With the closure of Fundy Gypsum, which affected Windsor, Hantsport and West Hants, this is fantastic news, a good start, and any more moves you want to bring here, feel free.”
The CAO of Windsor, Louis Coutinho, said the government’s decision to operate the agency locally may encourage more outside business owners to learn a little more about what the town has to offer.
“It’s a boost for our economy. Once people start seeing government offices move here, others probably want to be associated with it. There’s a lot of industry-related businesses that may want to be located closer to the agency, so this is the beginning,” he said. “Usually when this happens it draws other businesses to a community.”
Coutinho says the search for a suitable rental property, available for a long-term lease, is ongoing.