The outcry over the Alberta government’s proposals to change farm labour standards continues to rile our readers online.
However, the knee-jerk reactions that were so prominent when Bill 6 was first introduced have given way to more reasoned thought.
A reader named Paul writes:
“(I) was able to attend the meeting held in Bassano. One area of concern among many is (whether) Hutterites will or will not be exempt. The fact is Hutterites have not asked to be exempt if this bill goes, (which we hope it wouldn’t). What this would do is create a double standard amongst farmers, which in any society is bad for relations. Give everybody what’s theirs, fair is fair. Who asked for Bill 6 anyway?”
Reader Neil Batchelor said he was trying to inject a little humour into the issue when he shared his list illustrating how the urban-rural divide has never been greater:
“… the realization that we as an agriculture industry are no longer understood by the average consumer-voter is coming a bit too late for some of this legislation.… Their values go something like this:
“1. Technology is good in every industry except agricultural bioscience, where it is evil.
“2. Commercial (large scale) farming is intrinsically evil because any large corporate entity is evil and takes advantage of the common person through greed and avarice.
“3. Small-holding farms located in sunny idyllic valleys, with free-range chickens, border collies, stone buildings and talking pigs that are never actually turned into pork are good, and all farms should be this way.…
“6. Modern genetic modification in any form will send you to hell directly and instantly with no form of recourse or reprieve. Achieving the same result through cross-breeding/pollination is OK because it takes longer and is therefore ‘natural.’ ”
A reader named Joe added his thoughts on the matter:
“I am surprised how people outside the farming community feel the need to dictate how things within the farming community should be done without consulting the actual people involved. No one is asking to deny safety to farm workers. The farming community is simply asking to be involved and have input in the process.”
One day future politicians will look at this as a textbook case of how not to roll out new legislation.