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AB Crop Commissions continue to press for farmer and industry consultation in wake of Bill 6 passing DEC 10 2015 | Producers | News Release

(Calgary, Alberta) December 10, 2015 – The Alberta government today passed Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, despite requests from farmers and industry to delay the legislation and allow for proper consultation.

“The crop commissions are disappointed with the lack of consultation and communication around the development and implementation of Bill 6,” said Kent Erickson, Alberta Wheat Commission Chair. “This really drives home the message that agriculture stakeholders must be properly consulted prior to the development of regulations and technical standards to ensure they protect farm workers while reflecting the unique nature of the farm sector.”

The actual impact Bill 6 will have on farm safety has been diluted since its inception. The Bill, now recently amended, has produced legislation that is less focused on farm safety and more about farm labour, causing even more confusion among farmers about how it will impact their operations.

“The key to creating a culture of farm safety is education – not legislation,” explained Mike Ammeter, Chair of the Alberta Barley Commission. “Alberta farmers are the biggest supporters of farm safety. We raise our families in this environment, care deeply about the safety of our employees, family and friends.”

“There are still more questions than answers on the passing of Bill 6,” said Lee Markert, Chair of the Alberta Canola Producers Commission. “The next step is to compile the information and use clear language to try to explain how each pillar of this bill will affect those who work on farms across Alberta.”

“Going forward it is important that the crop commissions work together, providing farmer input into the regulations as they are developed,” added Alberta Pulse Growers Chair Allison Ammeter.

Our farmer members and their employees are waiting to work with government in developing technical standards and regulations together that will have the greatest chance at improving a strong culture of farm safety and worker relations.

For more information, contact:

Cole Christensen
Communications and Marketing Manager
Alberta Barley
T 403.219.6253

Megan Madden
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Canola Producers Commission
T 780.454.0844

Rachel Peterson
Communications Coordinator
Alberta Pulse Growers Commission
T 780.986.9398

Amanda Ryan
Communications Manager
Alberta Wheat Commission
T 403.219.7902

Shawna Mathieson
Executive Director
Prairie Oat Growers Association
T 306.530.8545