DRUMHELLER, AB: Agriculture Minister Oneil Carlier needs to explain why the NDP government has given itself the ability to kick farmers and ranchers off the Bill 6 consultation panels for missing a single meeting, the Wildrose Official Opposition said Monday.
The nomination form for the next Bill 6 Technical Working Group includes an ominous warning to farmers and ranchers that says, “If you cannot make any of the meetings, your membership will be revoked.” The clause and form can be viewed here.
Wildrose Shadow Agriculture Minister Rick Strankman said the NDP needs to clarify this clause, given spring is one of the busiest times of year for farmers and ranchers.
“When I see that clause in the application form, It feels as though the NDP is trying to discourage actual farmers and ranchers from serving on these government panels,” Strankman said. “As a farmer myself, I know that spring is a time when it’s all systems go on the farm. If farmers are setting aside their precious time to drive to the city, volunteer on these working groups and help this government fix this mess, they deserve to know they won’t be kicked out at the drop of a hat.”
Strankman said the government has shown little to no desire to consult with actual farmers throughout the Bill 6 process.
“The NDP was dragged kicking and screaming into consulting with farmers on Bill 6, and it appears their efforts are still half-hearted,” Strankman said. “Given this NDP government doesn’t have a single member who farms, I’d recommend they start listening to farmers and giving them a seat at the table without strings attached.”
Wildrose supports common sense regulations and choice in insurance to protect farm workers.