Rallies continued in Alberta today, with many farmers and ranchers asking the NDP government to slow or halt Bill 6 – The Enhancement of Protection of Farm and Ranch Workers Act.

Photos from Friday's rally at the Alberta Legislature.
Photos from Friday’s rally at the Alberta Legislature.

“Alberta is the only province where OHS legislation does not apply to farms and ranches,” according to the Alberta Government’s FAQ page. “Alberta’s farm and ranch workers have only limited coverage under employment standards legislation, no mandatory WCB coverage, and they are not covered by labour relations legislation. This isn’t a fair situation and the government wants to change that.”

But, not all farmers and ranchers want that change.

“We just want it to be left the way it is,” said a participant in the rally held on Friday. “Everything’s been good and we haven’t had issues.”

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“I hope they open up their eyes and see that they have a lot of unhappy people, who really want our voices heard before they make any rash decisions about pushing this through and not giving any consideration to us,” said Sara Wheale, creator of the Facebook group “farmers against NDP. Bill 6.”

Alberta’s crop commissions are calling for more consultation, and encouraging farmers to engage.

Bill 6 was introduced to the Alberta Legislature on Nov 17.

Our entire interview with Wheale will be available shortly.

2 thoughts on “Perspectives From Friday’s Bill 6 Rally in Edmonton

  1. I run a 105 year old commercial family farm. I’m happy to see people actively engaged in the discussion about Bill 6 and encourage the government to slow down and ensure that farmers fully understand the plan for implementing legislation and are able to help make a workable, practical and efficient set of regulations. I also encourage farmers and ranchers to recognize that the status quo is not good enough. Things haven’t been fine the way they have always been because we continue to experience too many deaths and life altering injuries on Alberta farms and ranches. Looking outside of our farm community, it doesn’t take long to learn that the general public is weary of excuses and doesn’t understand why farmers are exempted from the rules that govern everyone else. We can’t just say no to Bill 6 without offering an alternative path that satisfies the public’s need to protect farm and ranch workers. Regardless of whether the government delays or withdraws Bill 6 we need to accept that there will be legislation governing commercial scale farming and ranching operations and be ready to provide constructive input on whatever legislation moves forward.

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