Last week, the Alberta government introduced Bill 17, the Fair and Family-Friendly Workplaces Act, which updates Alberta’s Labour Code and Employment Standards Code. Since the bill covers all workers in Alberta, it requires some further digging to parse out what applies to agriculture and farms.
On Friday, Shaun Haney spoke with Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Alberta, to get a better idea of how this bill works in tandem with the infamous Bill 6 and the impact the Bill 6 technical working groups had on the draft legislation.
“Bill 17 is for all workers, including farm workers. For farm workers, a lot of these workers that other workers have enjoyed for decades, now also apply to them,” Minister Carlier states in the below interview with Shaun.
The piece of this bill that will make many farmers and ranchers in Alberta say “I told you so” is the part giving farm workers the right to unionize. Minister Carlier acknowledges he doesn’t see a major push for this, but he says it’s important that farm workers have the opportunity if the desire is ever there.
Listen to Carlier discuss Bill 17, the unionization of farm labour, and what it means for farms and ranches:
Related: New Alberta workplace bill would expand employment standards, allow unionizing on farms