Few subjects in recent memory appear to have pushed our readers’ buttons like Alberta’s proposed farm and ranch workplace legislation, Bill 6.
Last week’s public consultation meeting in Grande Prairie was the government’s first concrete opportunity to hear the public’s thoughts on the matter.
And did they get an earful.
“The idea that we cannot look after our business and the government has to is insulting,” Jamie White, of Teepee Creek, Alta., told WP reporter Mary MacArthur at the meeting. He wants the government to step back, listen to farmers and then build legislation, not the reverse.
The responses to Mary’s story, and our other coverage online, was equally swift, and polarized.
“Sorry, NDP will do whatever the unions ask of them. Y’all are screwed,” read a comment left by Rod Johnson on the WP’s Facebook page.
“The idea of having to pay WCB premiums for neighbours who come and help unpaid (as in a branding or preg testing) is completely loony. And that is only the beginning of the lunacy and headaches,” read another by Paul Heglund. “The Alberta government needs to stop in their tracks and spend at least a year listening and then design a program that will suit agriculture.”
A reader calling himself “Spaceman Spiff” was one of the first to see things from a different perspective.
“I’m sorry, but the farmers need to chill out. And I say this as someone who grew up in a rural area just outside of Grande Prairie. There’s no way the Alberta government is proposing to disrupt the family farm,” wrote Spiff.
“In fact, it’s trying to protect it by bringing farms up to the same standards for safety and labour that other dangerous occupations have.”
Let us know your thoughts on the matter.