Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Jobs, Skills, Training and Labour issued the following statement:
“I’ve been listening to Albertans about what Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, will mean for their family farms.
“I want to assure those families that Bill 6 does nothing more than bring Alberta’s safety standards on farm and ranching operations in line with every other province in Canada.
“Family farms have thrived in those provinces, and they will continue to do so in Alberta.
“The concerns I’m hearing about most, relate to what the legislation means for family, friends and neighbours who pitch in on the farm. I can assure you that farm kids will continue to make their communities proud in their local 4-H program, just as they do in every other province.
“Neighbours and relatives will continue to help each other out in times of need, just as they do in every other province.
“These customary parts of farm life will go on as before, while enhancing protections for employees.
“Our legislation allows us the flexibility to develop common-sense regulations to achieve this goal.
“That is what we have started consulting on. And that is what we will ensure is achieved before the regulations are introduced.
“In the meantime, the legislation provides two simple things. A paid farmworker who is directed to do something dangerous can say no, just like other workers in Alberta and Canada. And if they are hurt or killed at work, they or their family can be compensated, just like other workers in Alberta and Canada.
“Statutory protection of farm and ranch employees and the preservation of family farm traditions are complementary goals of Bill 6. I encourage Albertans to continue providing their feedback on how we can accomplish both.”