It's unfortunate that in this age of layoffs and restructuring that a company such as Bell Aliant does not recognize the value of jobs in smaller towns like ours.
Last week, employees at the company's smaller contact centres were told the could either pick up their lives and move - presumably to a packed call centre floor in Halifax - or they could find other work.
In Nova Scotia, 103 employees in New Glasgow, Amherst, Sydney, Bridgewater and Truro will have to make this choice.
While Bell Aliant's decision will undoubtedly improve the company's efficiency, thereby bringing greater returns for shareholders, it's a slap in the face to those who have chosen to make their homes away from the rat race.
Well, actually, it's more than that.
We choose to live in rural and small town Nova Scotia because we can afford a house here, because we're on a first-name basis with our neighbours and because we are connected to our homes by much more than the careers we pursue.
We choose to live here, perhaps because our parents are elderly and require care or our children are attending an excellent public school.
Those are the things these employees are being asked to give up. We suspect it is of no comfort or benefit to many that they still have a job somewhere else.
Just how much the company will benefit by this decision will be provided in early November, in a conference call with investment analysts.
What our communities lose by this decision is much more difficult to measure. We strongly advise Bell Aliant to reconsider its decision.