The province appointed experienced mediator John Clarke today, June 5, to aid in contract negotiations between Emergency Medical Care Inc., and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 727. Labour and Advanced Education Minister Frank Corbett said the government is appointing a mediator in an effort to prevent a potential disruption in critical health services to the public. “No one wants to see a paramedic strike,” Mr. Corbett said. “I know both sides care deeply about patients, and I am confident they are working hard toward avoiding a work disruption. We believe in the principles of collective bargaining and we are optimistic a solution can be reached.” Mr. Clarke is a veteran mediator, arbitrator and lawyer from St. John’s, N.L., who has successfully mediated a number of disputes. Ground and air paramedics in Nova Scotia are employed by Emergency Medical Care Inc. Paramedics represented by the union will be in a legal strike position Saturday, June 8.