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(Halifax) – Premier Rodney MacDonald has now stooped to distorting the facts to try and win support for his proposed ban on health care strikes.

Rick Clarke of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour says, “The premier is trying to mislead the public by suggesting in the media that eight provinces have banned health care strikes.  This is simply false.  Only three provinces have done so and for him to suggest otherwise is a desperate attempt to distort the facts. 

Seven provinces in Canada continue to allow health care workers to strike.  The eight provinces the premier is talking about have so-called ‘essential services’ legislation, which
is nowhere near the same thing.  It’s also something his own government has ruled out for Nova Scotia.

Says Clarke, “What is particularly galling, is that this same distortion is being used in TV ads being paid for with taxpayers’ dollars and run by the NSAHO – the employer group.  Those ads ask, ‘Isn’t it time Nova Scotians had the same protection as eight other provinces?’  Again, this is a total distortion of the facts.”

Clarke says Nova Scotians deserve to have the facts presented accurately to them, from both sides in this dispute.  

No province has taken away the right to strike from health care workers in 25 years.  Shame on the premier for not being honest with Nova Scotians,” says Clarke.

The coalition consists of seven unions, including the NSGEU (Nova Scotia Government Employees Union), CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees), NSNU (Nova Scotia Nurses Union), CAW (Canadian Auto Workers Union), IUOE (International Union of Operating Engineers), SEIU (Service Employees International Union) and CUPW (Canadian Union of Postal Workers).

For information: 

Rick Clarke (NSFL) at 454-6735; Danny Cavanagh, CUPE, (902) 957-0822; Joan Jessome, NSGEU, 471-4566; Janet Hazelton, NSNU, 456-2084; Shauna Wilcox, CAW, 1-800-591-7523; Gerard Higgins, SEIU, 455-1095; Dwayne Fitzgerald, IUOE (902) 539 5438; Fred Furlong, CUPW, 454-5812.