Open Letter on Bill 6 to the Premier from Alberta Ag Sector DEC 7 2015 | Producers | Blog Post
An Open letter to the Honourable R. Notley and Members of the Cabinet:
The undersigned organizations representing the majority of Alberta’s agriculture sector would like to call upon the Government of Alberta to consider farmers and ranchers concerns and suspend the implementation of the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act (Bill 6), and conduct proper and meaningful consultations with farmers and agriculture organizations.
Our collective organizations believe the government has lost the confidence of approximately 60,000 farmers and ranchers across Alberta and would urge the government to delay any further consideration of Bill 6 in order to earn that confidence back.
The amendments to the bill that your government has recently announced are not sufficient to deal with the deficiencies in the proposed legislation. More clarification and consultation around the specifics of Bill 6 are needed.
Agriculture is a significant contributor to Alberta’s economy and farmers and ranchers are an important part of the economic and social fabric of this province. The concerns being voiced by farmers, the confusion around the specifics of the legislation and the misinformation being communicated at the Town Hall meetings are issues too important for a flawed bill to be rushed through the legislature without proper consultation with farmers and ranchers.
The provincial commissions have been extremely proactive in trying to represent the interests of farmers on this issue. Most of the provincial crop and livestock commissions met with government officials on a few occasions in 2015 to discuss the government’s intentions to introduce farm safety legislation, and while we pressed for more information regarding the legislation, your officials said they were unable to disclose any of the details until an announcement was made. This is not consultation.
Moving forward, we will continue to press the Government of Alberta to suspend all action on Bill 6 and to work with us toward a solution that enhances farm safety while ensuring that farmers and the industry as a whole have an opportunity for meaningful input.