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Nova Scotia’s health minister is talking out of both sides of his mouth – but his pro-private message is being heard loud and clear.

While Chris d’Entremont is promising to introduce legislation protecting public health care, he’s also planning to ‘consult’ with the public about privatized health care.

His recent comments to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce provide a sneak peek at what his ‘white paper’ on private health care will say. He told the chamber “there might be some opportunities to work with private companies,” referring to services with a “private flair” – without explaining what that might mean.

CUPE Nova Scotia responded quickly, arguing it’s no coincidence that 5,600 CUPE hospital workers are down to the wire in contract talks that could end in a strike.

Nova Scotians see through the hypocrisy of this. They know that private clinics will simply siphon away health resources from our public system and actually increase wait times,” said division president Danny Cavanagh. He condemned the minister’s not-so-veiled threat to the workers, calling on him to put his energy into negotiating, not privatizing.