Alberta Government Releases Details on Bill 6 Working Groups


The Alberta Government today announced details on the Enhancement of Protection of Farm and Ranch Workers Act (Bill 6) working groups, including that the members for those groups have been selected.

“The nomination process to these working groups has identified a broad and diverse range of voices from the farm and ranch sector to provide input,” said Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Oneil Carlier. “Today I’m very pleased to announce that we have the chairs and members for six technical working groups in place.”

The six technical working groups will focus on the employment standards code, labour relations code, and specific aspects of Occupational Health and Safety starting mid-June.

Quick facts:

  • The roundtable members were selected from nearly 250 submissions.
  • 36 of the 72 seats are producer-focused.
  • 23 of the 36 producer-focused seats are filled by Ag Coalition representatives.
  • The six chairs have no agriculture background, but have experience with mediation, consensus and board governance.
  • Each of the six tables have been assigned a focused task and will meet over two days across the province.
  • Members will be paid.
  • The first meeting will take place in mid-June.

The roundtable consultations, which were expected to begin in March, have been delayed significantly for undisclosed reasons. There is much speculation that the delay has been due to a final stamp of approval by the Premier’s office.

In a media call today, Minister Carlier made it clear that the government intends to take its time with the process, which he says will be guided by the roundtable members.

“Early on we were looking for some draft recommendations by the end of the year, but honestly, if they need to take a few more months, we’re going to give them that leeway,” Minister Carlier said when pressed for a broad timeline. He added later that they’re hoping by spring to see regulations by spring, though right now “it’s hard to say.”

Chairs and Members:

Employment Standards Code

Chair: David Gould

  • Blaine Staples, Red Deer County, producer, U-Pick and Agri-toursim operator
  • Stuart Thiessen, Strathmore, producer (cow/calf and grain), feedlot operator
  • Steven Marshman, Strathmore, producer (mixed farming), and Alberta Canola Producers Board Member
  • Susan Schafers, Stony Plain, egg farmer
  • Gweneth Feeny, Edmonton, senior researcher Alberta Union of Provincial Employees
  • Joel Beatson, Edmonton, executive director Landscape Alberta
  • Gordon Tait, Lethbridge, partner Meyers Norris Penny LLP (representative of Hutterian Brethren)
  • Martin d’Entremont, Calgary, United Nurses of Alberta
  • James Suydam, Calgary, retired agri-food worker
  • Laurie Fries, Wainwright, mixed livestock producer
  • Tjerk (Jack) Dejong, Fairview, former producer (crop and hog)
  • Morgan Gallatin, Wetaskiwin, worker, dairy worker

Labour Relations Code

Chair: Cheryl Yingst Bartel


  • John Lawton, Edmonton, producer, cattle feeder
  • John Bland, Strathmore, producer and former RCMP Officer and Livestock Investigator
  • Mark Chambers, Acme, worker/manager in large-scale hog production
  • Martin van Diemen, Picture Butte, producer (dairy, poultry and mixed crops), director with Alberta Milk and Alberta Chicken Producers
  • Karen Shaw, Sturgeon County, Sturgeon County Councillor
  • Devin Yeager, Red Deer, secretary treasurer, UFCW Local 1118
  • Dewey Funk, St. Albert, dairy and beef experience, labour relations officer, United Nurses of Alberta
  • Terence Hochstein, Taber, executive director, Potato Growers of Alberta
  • Grace Strom, High River, Alberta Beekeepers’ Commission, producer
  • Leanne Chahley, Lethbridge, lawyer
  • Barret Weber, Edmonton, director of research, Alberta Federation of Labour
  • David Miller, Fairview, Farm worker

OHS: Review of Existing Requirements and Exceptions

Chair: Wendy Hassen


  • Shannon Jacobi, Edmonton, president of the Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association
  • Kent Erickson, Irma, producer (cow/calf, mixed crops) and Alberta Wheat Commission Director
  • Glenn Norman, Red Deer County, producer (cow/calf and commercial forage)
  • Jacqueline Gerlach, Edmonton, health and dafety consultant
  • Corey Beck, Sexsmith, County of Grande Prairie councillor, cow/calf producer
  • Tom Vandermeer, Morinville, farm worker
  • Tyler Kueber, Killam, producer
  • Barbara McKinley, Edmonton, WCB consultant
  • Humphrey Banack, Camrose, producer (grains and oilseeds)
  • Philippa Thomas, Cochrane, injured farm worker and farm safety activist
  • Jurgen Preugschas, Mayerthorpe, producer (hog, beef and grain)
  • Anita Heuver, Strathmore, tree nursery operator

Chair: Don Mallon


  • Justin Knol, Lethbridge, mixed grain and speciality seed worker
  • Gerald Finster, Valleyview, producer (grain)
  • Gregory Sears, Sexsmith, producer, (grain, pulse and oilseed) and Alberta Canola Producers board chair
  • Jason Foster, Edmonton, assistant professor of human resources and labour relations with Athabasca University
  • Fred Niehoss, Camrose, farm worker and producer
  • Erna Ference, Black Diamond, Alberta Chicken Producer
  • Rients Palsma, Duchess, dairy farmer, former farm worker and agricultural instructor
  • Al Kemmere, Olds, Mountain View County reeve and AAMDC director
  • Kari Bergerud, Edmonton, nurse
  • Connie Seutter, Edmonton, elk rancher and chair of the Alberta Elk Commission
  • Russel Pickett, Bassano, producer (cattle, hay, and irrigated cereals)
  • Vincent Geerligs, Welling, farm employee, mixed crops and feedlot

OHS: Best Practices for Agriculture

Chair: Klaus Opatril


  • Jody Bignell, Rimbey, producer (mixed farming) and farm worker
  • Jennifer Buck, Calgary, farm worker (equine manager)
  • Allan Child, Killam, producer (dairy and mixed crops)
  • Jim Hole, St. Albert, market garden/greenhouse/garden centre
  • Les Oakes, Millarville, president Alberta Equestrian Federation
  • John Waldner, Foremost, manager at Kingslake Hutterite Colony
  • Miranda These, Tilley, worker (safety coordinator)
  • Don Voaklander, Edmonton, professor and director of the Injury Prevention Centre within the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta
  • Alfred Borbely, Millarville, farm worker
  • Dale Collison, Bruce, producer (grain and cattle) and former agri-food worker, Beaver County Councillor
  • Gregory Harris, Cremona, cattle and forage farm worker and former police officer
  • Tom Kennelly, Wainwright, worker Sun Haven Farms

OHS: Education, Training and Certification:

Chair: Kelly Williams-Whitt


  • Doreen Neilley, Rocky Rapids, Bison Producers Association of Alberta
  • Tim van der Hoek, Vauxhall, pulse producer, irrigation
  • Jeff Kamlah, turkey producer and vice-chair of the Alberta Turkey Producers
  • Jared Matsunaga-Turnbull, Edmonton, executive director of the Alberta Workers’ Health Centre
  • Richard Truscott, Calgary, vice-president, CFIB, small- and medium-sized businesses
  • David Kolotylo, Willingdon, producer
  • Eric Musekamp, Bow Island, Farm Workers Union of Alberta
  • Candace Martens, Calgary, public legal educator at the Calgary Workers’ Resource Centre
  • Janice Peterson, labour representative
  • Judy Finseth, Okotoks, co-manager of Bar Pipe Hereford Ranch
  • Brian Acton, farm worker, grains and oilseeds
  • Page Stuart, Vegreville, producer, past chair Alberta Cattle Feeders Association


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