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N.S. legislature to reconvene ahead of possible paramedic strike

The Nova Scotia government says it will introduce legislation today to send a labour dispute involving the province's 800 paramedics to binding arbitration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

HALIFAX – Nova Scotia’s labour minister says the government will introduce a bill Friday when the legislature reconvenes to deal with a possible labour disruption involving the province’s 800 paramedics.

Frank Corbett declined to elaborate on the legislation, though he said if the paramedics walk off the job Saturday, the safety of Nova Scotians would be affected and the government can’t allow that.

Corbett says a conciliator will reach out one last time to try to bring the union that represents the paramedics and the employer back to the negotiating table before Friday morning.

The paramedics will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

The ground and air ambulance paramedics have repeatedly rejected offers from their employer, Emergency Medical Care.

Members of Local 727 of the International Union of Operating Engineers recently voted 73 per cent against a deal that would have given paramedics a defined benefits pension plan – one of their key demands.

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