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Don't ram through Bill 6, properly consult farmers

Premier Rachel Notley needs to go back to the drawing board and properly consult farmers, instead of insisting that Bill 6 is rammed through before Christmas, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.

Notley told reporters on a call from Europe today that “Bill 6 will be passed this fall,” while blaming “misinformation” for the pushback on the legislation.  

Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the moms and dads on family farms don’t have it wrong, they deserve to be consulted, and ramming through Bill 6 sends the wrong message.

“Families understand better than anyone how their farms work, and how Bill 6 will impact their lives. They’ve heard bureaucrats and the minister talk down to them, but all they want is to have their voices heard,” Jean said. “Bulldozing ahead with Bill 6 and making adjustments on the fly is not how we should be legislating changes to the 45,000 farms across the province.”

If passed, Bill 6 will be implemented by Jan. 1. Wildrose has long called for proper consultations and accommodations for family farms, along with placing a priority on education above regulation.

“Farmers are the most passionate about keeping their farms safe, but they want to be consulted before they see their livelihoods change in a dramatic way,” Wildrose Shadow Agriculture Minister Rick Strankman said. “No one cares more about safety on farms than the families who run them, they are the experts, they should be in the driver’s seat. Instead, bureaucrats and ministers, who have clearly lost the trust of farmers, continue to treat them as second-class citizens.”