05/02/2012 05:31 EDT | Updated 07/02/2012 05:12 EDT

Public misled on plans to relocate civil servants from Halifax, say opposition

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Conservatives say the government misled the public this week when it announced a plan to relocate some civil service jobs from Halifax to rural areas.

The government said Monday it was moving 93 positions from Halifax, including 25 workers with a Justice Department program that collects court-ordered spousal and child support payments.

But Tory Leader Jamie Baillie said a number of the jobs in that program are actually coming from offices in Kentville, New Glasgow and Amherst.

"The government should say what it is really doing ... to pitch that this is all about moving jobs from Halifax to rural Nova Scotia when at least in this case that's not true," Baillie told reporters.

Premier Darrell Dexter said Wednesday there had been a plan to move those positions to Halifax, but that idea was scrapped in favour of relocating them to New Waterford.

He insisted the government was upfront about its plans.

"We have said exactly where those jobs come from and where they are going to," said Dexter.

"They (the Tories) are picking on the fact that there is a fairly small number of jobs in other parts of Nova Scotia that were going to be consolidated that are now going to Cape Breton."

The Justice Department said there are 11 positions moving from Dartmouth, seven from Kentville, five from Amherst and two from New Glasgow. Those jobs account for the 25 positions announced Monday.

Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said the premier's clarification shows the government was being "loose with the facts" in order to win public approval.

"It was a pretty straightforward explanation ... people still would have applauded it, I think, and said it's a good thing, let's move the jobs," said McNeil.

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said six positions were moving from Amherst.