The province is looking at moving some government offices out of HRM.
“There are some services that could actually be better delivered from communities outside of Halifax,” Premier Darrell Dexter told reporters after Thursday’s throne speech.
Technology these days means that work doesn’t have to be done in Halifax, he said.
Further details, including how many public-sector workers will be impacted and the costs of moving, will come through the budget, Dexter said.
He did say it “wouldn’t be thousands” of jobs, and employees, unions and departmental stakeholders would be consulted first.
“It will be done in areas it makes sense,” he said, but he was not willing to give examples.
Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said it needs to be determined if government is moving departments or growing bureaucracy.
Dexter said it’s not growing bureaucracy but putting existing functions in communities where it makes more sense for them to be.
While not opposed to the idea, Tory Leader Jamie Baillie called it an empty promise since it refers to new and consolidating departments, of which there are none at the moment.
Mayor Peter Kelly said he can understand the need to relocate on a small scale if necessary, but he also said HRM is accessible and centrally located in the province.
“As long as there is reason and rationale to go along with it and not carte blanche,” he said.