Alberta Government Confirms Amendments To Bill 6

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.. ).
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.
(Contains content from the Canadian Press)

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