Alberta’s Crop Sector Working Group (CSWG) is encouraging farmers, ranchers and their employees to participate in an online survey surrounding Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.
“The survey is designed to acquire productive, on-farm feedback relating to Bill 6,” said Kent Erickson, chairman of the Alberta Wheat Commission, in a release. “Sufficient opportunities to provide feedback need to be offered to farmers, ranchers and farm workers to ensure this legislation reflects the uniqueness of our industry.”
On January 22, the CSWG will meet with the Intensive Livestock Sector Working Group (ILSWG) to discuss the interim results, and prepare for consultations with the provincial government. These consultations will take place as early as February, when chairs and members of six tables of 10-12 representatives are appointed. Each table will have a pre-determined focus, including:
- Employment standards;
- Labour relations;
- Occupational Health and Safety (OHS): general safety regulations;
- OHS: best practices for safety within existing Alberta farming operations;
- OHS: unique considerations in Alberta farming operations and the interpretation of OHS legislation;
- OHS: relevant technical rules and the education, training resources and certification required to implement regulations.
“We intend to work together to develop a strategy to direct the government in shaping this legislation into something that will work for all farmers and ranchers. The survey results will serve as key information to be used for decision-making going forward,” Erickson said.
Farmers, ranchers and employees can fill out the survey until February 13, 2016.
Under the new legislation, Workers’ Compensation Board insurance is mandatory for paid workers, and basic Occupational Health and Safety standards apply to paid workers onsite, meaning employers have to take “reasonable steps to provide a safe and healthy workplace,” workers can refuse unsafe work and OHS has the authority to investigate serious injuries and fatalities.
Check out all of our coverage of Bill 6.
The CSWG is comprised of the Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Alberta Oat Growers Commission, Potato Growers of Alberta, Alberta Sugar Beet Growers and Alberta Rye and Triticale Association. The ILSWG consists of the Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, Alberta Chicken Producers, Alberta Hatching Egg Producers, Alberta Milk, Alberta Pork, Alberta Turkey Producers and Egg Farmers of Alberta.