Amendments to the Enhanced Protection for Farm & Ranch Workers Act, confirm the government's intent to exclude farm & ranch owners - plus their families - from Occupational Health & Safety as well as mandatory Workers' Compensation Board coverage.
Alberta has introduced amendments to its contentious farm safety bill that specify it won't kill the family farm but opponents say the process is so muddled the bill should be scrapped.
The amendments state that Workers Compensation benefits and Occupational Health and Safety rules will only apply on farms that have paid workers.
Farms that are run by families, even families that pay their kin to work, will be exempt. That is the opposite of what the government promised three weeks ago when it introduced Bill 6.
Jobs Minister Lori Sigurdson says that information was wrong and that the amendments reflect the government's long-standing policy position.
Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, says public concerns about whether those rules applied to family operations required that they be stated within the Enhanced Protection for Farm & Ranch Workers Act for greater clarity and certainty.
Opposition Wildrose and Progressive Conservative members say the message remains confusing and that the bill should be pulled pending further consultation with farmers.
Meantime, an Alberta government farm & ranch session is coming up on Wednesday, December 9th from 1 until 4pm in Olds.
It has been moved to the Olds Regional Exhibition in order to allow more people to provide input and learn more about the Bill 6 legislation.
Visit the Alberta government's Jobs, Skills, Training & Labour website to register (cut & paste link.. https://ers.humanservices.alberta.ca/jstl-farmandranch.aspx ).
According to that site, as of Monday night there were still more than 150 seats available. Those who were already registered for the session in Olds, do not have to re-register.
If you are a Canola grower and there is enough moisture in the field around lunch-time or mid-afternoon for your pants to get wet while walking through it, then you might want to consider using a fungicide for sclerotinia. That is according to the Agronomy Specialist for the Canola Council of Canada in East Central Alberta. Keith Gabert encourages producers to try that test if you have a good enough crop and want to use a fungicide to protect the yield. He says sclerotinia is fungal disease which affects a lot of broad leaf crops.
Jeff Nielsen - the Chair of the Grain Growers of Canada (GGC) says farmers need really responsible Business Risk Management (BRM) programs and that is what they will be pushing for while in Quebec City this July.
The Alberta government says its short term relief plan will help shallow gas producers cut costs, protect jobs and remain competitive while dealing with economic pressures facing the natural gas industry.