Mayor surprised with creation of tourism jobs in Windsor

Darrell Cole
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Amherst had requested those jobs already

AMHERST – Amherst Mayor Robert Small is surprised the province has decided to create its new tourism agency in Windsor, just months after it asked for it to be located in Amherst.

“I think I need to have a conversation with our MLA as to what the government’s master plan is for further decentralization of government and see if there is going to be an opportunity for Cumberland County to get some part of the government,” Small said.

The mayor said he already has a meeting scheduled today with Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar and he expects to raise the issue with him.

On Thursday, Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minsiter Percy Paris announced the new Nova Scotia Tourism Agency office would be located in Windsor. Establishing the agency there would create 34 civil service jobs by the end of September 2013.

“For years governments centralized jobs in the city while rural communities struggled. We are doing things differently,” Paris said. “Tourism plays a significant role in rural economies across the province. Residents depend on the industry for good jobs and the revenue generated to keep their communities strong. It just makes sense to set up this new agency where it will have a greater impact.”

The province has committed to look for locations outside of Halifax for new and consolidated agencies and offices. This ensures provincial departments and agencies can serve all Nova Scotians in urban and rural areas.

The minister said Windsor is a good location in that it’s central to many tourism destinations and is “within commutable distance to many of our industry and government partners who are located in Halifax.”

The province announced plans for the agency last year. The agency is a collaboration between industry and government to build a more innovative and globally competitive approach to tourism.

The mayor said tourism was one of the areas the town identified a couple of months ago when he sent a letter to the premier asking for Amherst to be considered for government jobs to replace the jobs lost by the consolidation of the maintenance enforcement program in New Waterford and the planned relocation of correctional officers jobs to Pictou County when the Cumberland County Correctional Centre closes.

Skabar said he was not aware of the announcement, but supports the initiative to decentralize government jobs outside Halifax.

“I was with the premier yesterday when he made the CEC announcement in Tatamagouche, but I didn’t get much of an opportunity to speak with him,” Skabar said. “In plan to follow up on this.”


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Recent comments

  • Bubba Jay
    September 10, 2012 - 09:49

    With high fuel prices, bad roads and the high cost of everything else, tourism will be in trouble.

  • Jason
    September 07, 2012 - 11:59

    you say wouldn't it make sense? but what do these tourists people do? I doubt it matters where this particular office is placed.

  • reg
    September 07, 2012 - 09:48

    Perhaps the location of this office should have stayed in Halifax. I am sure the employees can easily commute to Windsor from Halifax. As many people do it the other way around. Whether you are an NDP supporter or not, Amherst is the gateway to Nova Scotia and the commercial centre of Cumberland Co. It is where the majority of tourist arrive from North America, wouldn't it make sense to put this office here. However when one sees the priorities ex: over 100 million for Port Hawks., gov. money involved in Halifax Convention Centre, relocation of a long time prov. jail from Amherst to Pictou, it makes sense---Politics.

  • Jason
    September 07, 2012 - 08:45

    Skabar is going to be replaced and what is more likely is he won't run again...silly threats about not voting him back are useless....cumberland is as conservative as an old white guy with anger issues. the vote was split last won't happen again and then at least, when a conservative is back at his rightful post, someone can cry about the pork barrel politics not working for them. Really amherst needs gov't jobs? maybe that's the problem...focus on growing the economy without requiring gov't jobs to stabilize it...

  • Skippy
    September 07, 2012 - 08:23

    This article is nothing more than a continuation of the ongoing vindictive attack by this paper and its editor on Mr. Skabar. Mr. Cole, this has gone far past fair commentary and whether you like it or not, people are starting to notice. As a community we deserve better from our local paper. Perhaps a good question to ask is why Mayor Small seems to feel that all job creation in this community should come from the province?

  • Lost In Space
    September 07, 2012 - 06:18

    Our local MLA lost to two Tories. The NDP govt is smart enough not to put offices in areas where they aren't distinctive winners. If the NDP forms the next govt. the Premier will take care of his friends, not Tories or Liberals. Look at Pictou county as an example. Count the number of NDP members in that county. Why do you think the jail went there. This area of Cumberland county has been Tory for years. You could get your dead dog elected if it was a Tory. Is Windsor an NDP stronghold.?

  • Concerned
    September 07, 2012 - 04:56

    I am no fan of the current Provincial government however I also think it is pretty rich for Amherst mayor to be criticizing the Dexter government for not selecting Amherst as the site for the new tourism agency. IMO Amherst council does very little to support tourism in their own Town so why would they expect Amherst should be the site of an agency promoting Province wide tourism? There is so much that could be done to actively promote local tourism - where is the Town interpretive center, promote local hiking trails, walk the Chignecto Ship Railway ROW, align the Town with a local port (eg. North Port, a site on Fundy) as a marina site to access the sail/cruising tourist, promote Amherst as a stop for Motor Coach tourism, Motor Home tourism. Instead, the local council appears to spend an inordinate amount of of time and effort on real estate deals, land swap proposals and putting the squeeze on rate payers to fund council legacy projects: also - 'letting' the Access NS office move farther away from the downtown area, 'letting' NSCC move away from downtown area???? what in the heck is going on with that? To many, the Town government appears to not have a consistent strategy for local business promotion and progress or, for cooperation with NS Provincial government or even Cumberland County Municipal government and, IMO, we see the result of this passiveness and lack of strategic thinking in such announcements as the selection of another communitty for the Provincial Tourism office.

  • honker
    September 07, 2012 - 01:00

    Cumberland needs to turn the heat up on Skabar. He should become aware that he can easily be replaced next spring. Traveling with Dexter and doesn't talk much! Well maybe he should be asking questions on behalf of Cumberland constituents.

  • Cumberlander
    September 06, 2012 - 21:31

    Sounds like Cumberland County is being ignored because of its voting pattern. Yes?, No? As the ground entry point into Nova Scotia, having the Nova Scotia Tourism Agency office in Amherst just makes sense but then not all of Cumberland County is NDP.

  • Jack on the Rocks
    September 06, 2012 - 18:39

    Skabar.."not aware of the announcement"...surprise,surprise...Out of the loop unless otherwise stated,or a good time for a photo opp..What a joke!!!!