The provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture department is moving 22 jobs out of Halifax and into the Digby area.
Headquarters of the fisheries division is being relocated to an as-of-yet undetermined location somewhere between Clementsport and Digby by the end of this year.
The department's aquaculture division, with 12 jobs, is heading to Shelburne County.
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Sterling Belliveau announced the moves Monday at a press conference in the Fundy Restaurant.
The news was greeted warmly by local civic officials.
"Anytime you get 22 well-paid jobs, 22 families, 22 people added to the community, that's good news," said Digby mayor Ben Cleveland.
The fisheries minister said the initiative will relocate department's headquarters and its aquaculture division in two of the province's major fish harvesting, processing and aquaculture regions.
"It makes sense for a department whose mandate is to support fisheries and aquaculture be based in rural Nova Scotia where it can bring good jobs to grow the economy."
The NDP government in Halifax promised in its throne speech to decentralize departments where it made sense.
Belliveau's announcement Monday was one of three across the province. The government is moving 93 positions from Halifax, shuffling 34 Agriculture Department positions to Truro-Bible Hill and 25 Justice Department jobs to New Waterford.
Belliveau, with Digby's scallop fleet at his back, said he couldn't think of a better place to put the fisheries headquarters.
No employees are being forced to move to Digby, but the jobs are moving here and "under the collective agreement, they have been offered the opportunity to relocate," Belliveau said.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal is carrying out a review of possible space for the offices.
"No option has been ruled out," Belliveau said when asked if the department would construct a new building or utilize an existing one. "We should have a better idea in a few months."
Municipality of Digby warden Linda Gregory said one good option is the former Convergys call centre building on Burns Hill Road at Cornwallis.
"It might be a bit big, but they could always partition it off and then have lots of space to decentralize more departments down here," she said
Warden Reg Ritchie of Annapolis County said the province can also consider buildings in Cornwallis Park where several vacant buildings could handle the fisheries offices without much trouble.
"And we've got lots of housing in the area between Annapolis Royal and Deep Brook. Come on down and have a look."
Digby mayor Ben Cleveland says he imagines the province will be looking for an existing building but if not, there is lots of land in Digby's industrial park, which would make an ideal location.
All three municipal leaders said the move was a smart one and were happy to be hear about jobs coming to the area.
Gregory says any employees moving here can look forward to enjoying the area's natural beauty, smaller schools, caring communities, less traffic and stress.