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Ontario to resume negotiations with doctors, discuss interest arbitration

FILE - (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marta Iwanek)

TORONTO – Premier Kathleen Wynne says negotiations will soon restart with the province’s doctors, who have been without a physician services agreement for three years.

Amid a lengthy and messy dispute, the Ontario Medical Association has said doctors wouldn’t return to the table unless the government introduced binding arbitration.

Health Minister Eric Hoskins has said the government would be willing to discuss binding arbitration, but wouldn’t accept it as a pre-condition to negotiations.

Wynne says today that Ontario is “committed to the principle of interest arbitration” and the first order of business when talks resume will be to negotiate an interest arbitration process.

Wynne also says the government will not make any unilateral cuts to physician compensation while discussions are taking place.

The news follows word from the OMA that it had established a new negotiating committee, 10 days after its executive committee resigned after a vote of non-confidence at an OMA meeting