Alberta Barley invites Government of Alberta to work with farmers on safety legislation
(Calgary, Alberta) Nov. 17, 2015 – On news that the Government of Alberta’s Ministry of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour has removed the agriculture exemption from The Occupational Health and Safety Act, and has introduced new legislation regarding Employment Standards, Labour Relations, and Workers Compensation, Alberta Barley is hopeful that the province’s crop commissions will be provided the opportunity to contribute to the process as specific regulatory standards are developed.
Alberta Barley remains supportive of including agriculture in The Occupational Health and Safety Act, as the failure to do so could potentially jeopardize Canada’s position in international trade agreements.
“As the future of farm safety policy takes shape, we are hopeful that the Government of Alberta will work with us on this file,” said Alberta Barley chairman Mike Ammeter, who farms near Sylvan Lake. “As elected representatives of Alberta’s barley farmers, we will need time to review potential regulations and carefully consider the impact on the tremendous variety of operations in modern agriculture.”
With an emphasis on seasonal labour and family-run operations, Alberta farms are unlike any other workplace in the province. Alberta Barley believes that regulatory measures should reflect that diversity and take into account the view of the people who live it every day.
“This is a unique opportunity for farmers and government to work together to share in the development of farm safety policy. Farmers are the subject matter experts on what will be most effective for their farm and we look forward to sharing that expertise,” said Ammeter. “We believe that the first step towards improving the safety of all farm workers is education and training in a cooperative and collaborative environment, and we will continue to advocate for that as we work towards a new regulatory environment together with the Government of Alberta.”
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