An Open letter to the Honourable R. Notley and Members of the Cabinet
December 4, 2015
Honourable Rachel Notley
The Honourable Rachel Notley
Premier of Alberta
307 Legislature Building
10800 – 97 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6
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.
Mr. Kent Erickson
Chair, Alberta Wheat Commission
Mr. Lee Markert
Chair, Alberta Canola Producers Commission
Mr. Mike Ammeter
Chair, Alberta Barley Commission
Ms. Allison Ammeter
Chair, Alberta Pulse Growers Association
Mr. Joel Beatson
Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association
Ms. Connie Seutter
Chair, Alberta Elk Commission
Ms. Debbie Foisey
Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association
Mr. Keith Gilchrist
Alberta Oat Growers Association
Mr. Grant Hicks
Alberta Beekeepers Commission
The Honourable Brian Mason, Minister of Infrastructure, Minister of Transportation, Government House Leader.
David Eggen, Minister of Education, Minister of Culture and Tourism
Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Deputy Government House Leader
Joe Ceci, President of Treasury Board, Minister of Finance
Marg McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy
Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health, Minister of Seniors
Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Minister of Aboriginal Relations
Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Advanced Education, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour
Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry
Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks, Minister of Status of Women, Deputy Government House Leader
Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services
Danielle Larivee, Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Service Alberta