The Alberta government is in the process of figuring out the details of its controversial farm labour legislation — Bill 6, which took effect on January 1st.
“There are a lot of technical things that have yet to be worked out,” explains Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier in this video, filmed at FarmTech in Edmonton earlier this week.
Carlier spoke at the FarmTech host reception on Monday night and also spent some time interacting with people on the trade show floor.
As he explains, the province is organizing six working groups to develop the regulations supporting Bill 6 — four will focus on occupational health and safety, one on employment standards and one on labour relations. Carlier says the timelines for these working groups will be flexible.
More than two dozen Alberta farm groups have formed a coalition to provide a unified voice to the government on behalf of the agriculture community. Carlier tells RealAg’s Shaun Haney he sees the group as a possible sounding board.
“I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to those folks yet, what they deliberated on, what they feel their wishes are and where they see their fit,” he says. “But I absolutely welcome that input. Those are the people I’d approach anyway…”
Carlier also discusses a possible update to the province’s Agricultural Pests Act on the issue of zero tolerance for fusarium in seed — a concern for Alberta Seed Growers, and the overall optimism he senses in the province’s ag industry.