Bill 6, to legislate safety and labour protocols on the farm. The Bill will become law in the New Year.
Agriculturalists are concerned over the ramifications of the law which MAY legislate working hours, family jobs, children on the farm and liabilities when neighbours help neighbours. Nobody is really sure what will be affected or how! The Alberta Government says "Don't worry, if there's some glitches, we'll fix them, no problem!" I think the farmers and ranchers are having trouble believing that.
I married into a farm family. My wife's family were grain farmers in Southern Alberta. Every spring they would go almost 24 hours a day getting the crop in after the thaw and between rains The goal was always to be finished by June 1. In the fall the work hours skyrocketed again as harvest consumed everyone on the farm. If someone got behind because of illness or a major breakdown, neighbours would come in and finish for them. By the time the harvest was in the bins, everyone was very tired but very happy.
Neighbours with livestock worked 365 days a year. Dairy farmers have two milkings a day, everyday, which had to done, no choice. I remember the kids cleaning out bins, running the loaders, driving trucks, hauling bales, doing yard chores while the dads and grandfathers were in the fields. The kitchen was always busy getting food ready.
How will Bill 6 affect that whole way of life? Who knows? The government did little to get input from farmers and ranchers before hammering down this bill. Now it appears that they are refusing to listen to the concerns of agriculturalists, saying "Trust us, we know what we're doing."
This NDP government seems to be intent on telling us what's good for us, again.
I say put the whole thing on hold for a year, study the problem, get agriculturalists to give input! After all, farmers and ranchers know their business and know how to keep it safe. Premier Notley should trust them!