Barlow Calls for NDP Government to Expand Information Meetings to Ensure Proper Consultation with Foothills Farmers

November 27th, 2015

HIGH RIVER, AB – Foothills farmers and ranchers are increasingly concerned over Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, proposed by the Provincial NDP Government.

Information Sessions on this controversial bill are scheduled for December 2, 2015 in Okotoks and December 3 in Lethbridge, however, in their attempts to register numerous southern Alberta farmers are finding out they are unable to attend these meetings due to lack of space.

Bill 6 was introduced on November 17, 2015, and proposes substantial changes to every area of farm life.

Foothills MP John Barlow has been fielding numerous calls from Alberta producers concerned they are unable to participate in the debate on Bill 6.

“Alberta’s farm and ranching families form the foundation of our rural economies throughout this province, but their farms are not just businesses; they are a way of life for thousands of Foothills families,” said Barlow. “They work exceptionally hard to produce the safest and best agricultural goods in the world and we are proud of their dedication, commitment and contributions to our rural communities.”

Foothills producers are concerned about Bill 6 and their inability to provide input on the framework of this legislation, said Barlow. Before substantial changes are made to how the family farm can operate it is imperative Alberta farmers and ranchers are consulted and their views given due consideration.

“Farm safety is important and a province-wide dialogue to improve it is welcome, but Alberta producers need to be able to contribute to proposed legislative changes to ensure they reflect the realities of farm life.”

Mr. Barlow has asked Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour, to relocate the Okotoks and Lethbridge information sessions to larger venues to accommodate significantly more people and delay approval of Bill 6 until Alberta’s producers are confident their voices have been heard.

Cayley-area rancher, Wade Nelson, is hosting an information session at Meadowbank Hall on Sunday, November 29th at 7 PM. All those interested in Bill 6 are invited to attend.