The Alberta government’s omnibus Bill 6 would impact farms and ranches by making Workers Compensation Board coverage mandatory, providing Occupational Health & Safety regulation in agriculture, implementing new labor laws and giving farm workers the ability to unionize.

While the bill would affect agriculture, some of the complications in the communication of Bill 6 details are due to the bill not coming from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

See all of our Bill 6 coverage

Last week we talked to the Minister of Training, Jobs, Skills and Labour, Lori Sigurdson about the reasons for the bill, but now it is time to hear from the Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Oneil Carlier.  The Minister has faced staunch opposition from farmers and ranchers during the rallies at the legislature and town halls across the province. It’s clear many farmers are not happy.

Hear Shaun Haney on 630 CHED discussing the impact of Bill 6 on farmers and ranchers

This morning we asked our Twitter followers to submit questions for the Minister using the hashtag #askoneil.

3 thoughts on “Ag Minister Oneil Carlier — Will You Vote For or Against Bill 6?

  1. Great job facilitating the dialogue on this topic Shaun. Farmers clearly want to be a part of the process and we need someone to connect us to the lawmakers because they seem very reluctant to listen to us. It appears that most, if not all farmers, are not in favor of Bill 6 because either they don’t agree with parts of the proposed rules or want more time to provide input into the process before decisions are made.
    Although I have heard many farm workers say that they don’t want this legislation, I would expect that a number would want “better” insurance and overtime pay over 44 hours per week and maybe even the right to unionize. I would argue that they may not know what the implications of those changes might be to their employers and how it would affect them in the end but that is moot point.

    Carlier says that because farm workers can’t “organize” they haven’t had the opportunity to express their opinions. This is not the 19th century. There are all kinds of opportunities for them to express their wishes today without jeopardizing their jobs. In fact, the government’s survey about Bill 6 is for farm owners and employees. It is an anonymous way to provide input into this bill. I’d like Real Agriculture to request the government make the results of the survey public so we can have more discussion about what farmers and their employees say about the bill from the anonymity of their computers.

    The government needs to make sure farm workers know how the Bill will affect them both positively and negatively. This requires time but it’s better to take the time to do things right rather than have unintended consequences.

  2. Shaun fantastic job of facilitating and keeping our industry posted on the progress and lack of will to slow down of Bill 6. Great dialog with Minister Carlier but he is a true “politician” the only direct answer he gave you was that he would be voting in favor of Bill 6. I wish these folks would play these interviews back and listen to what a terrible job they did of answering our questions and concerns.
    We are ramping up for the meeting in Olds on Wednesday the 9th 🙂
    Shaun my big concern is the rural folks may note have the numbers behind them to stop or at least slow down this process, we need to figure our how to get the urban folks to understand the impact Bill 6 will have on them. At some point we will have to try and pass some of these expenses on like other industry’s do or is some cases these farms will have some tough decisions to make which may mean shutting down. So as I said the education of the urban folks is crucial and we need to figure out how to engage and educate them.
    Again Great job Shaun and crew, keep up the hard work, and please know we do appreciate all that you do!!
    Jim Bowhay

  3. Thanks for the effort, Shaun. Keeping the ag community focused on an issue is like herding cats, so every little bit helps. A few points I would like to make.
    Minister Carlier is a “good listener”, in fact excellent, as he wouldn’t be able to avoid answering questions if he wasn’t. A good consensus builder is what we need.
    As far as getting support from the non-ag community, the first thing we can do is to not insult people with the “city people are idiots and don’t know anything” comments. Heckling Minister Carlier about his speaking abilities does not help either. People are free to express their opinions, but we must make the effort to ensure that our most articulate people get to the microphone.
    I would say that the way to get community support would be to present the facts. Unfortunately the NDP has ensured that none have been presented and therefore none can be proposed to counter-attack. I also feel that saying that the family farm will die is not very effective. Saying that the red tape will make life difficult is much more relatable to the average non-farmer.
    Hopefully the Opposition MLAs can hold the political end of this together and highlite the two-faced responses of the NDP and in particular David Swann of the Liberals. His reaction to the death of the three sisters was pathetic, no, disgusting, calling on more safety laws before the bodies were even buryied.

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