Farmers from across the province rallied on the steps of the legislature again this week to show their opposition against Bill 6.
Wildrose and Progressive Conservative MLAs joined together to brave the cold to support the farmers and ranchers who gathered to show the government they won't roll over now that Bill 6 has passed final reading.
Bill 6 is the NDP legislation that requires Alberta farms, ranches and greenhouses to follow occupational health and safety standards and purchase WCB insurance for their paid employees. It also allows farm workers to unionize. The farmers are clear: they aren't against safety. They're against the lack of consultation they were given on this unnecessary bill.
And make no mistake about it. Greenhouses are going to be hard hit. With a carbon tax coming at them and now added labour expenses, it's going to be harder and harder for local producers to compete with Mexican or Californian vegetables, where labour costs are lower and heating costs are rarely incurred.
Tuesday morning, according to the onsite sign-up sheet, 700 people took to the legislature grounds over the course of the rally.
There were some speeches from Wildrose and PC MLAs. Wildrose MLA Rick Strankman stressed the importance of continuing to be peaceful and respectful.
Bill 6 attacks farms. They're the most independent and entrepreneurial sector of Alberta and the NDP want them under the thumb of the bureaucracy. And that’s really what this is all about: government control of those free thinking rural conservatives even if it means forcing them into a government system Rachel Notley has herself called broken and miserly.
The NDP think those pesky rural conservatives need the boot of government on their neck.
But farmers and ranchers aren't going to lie down easily. They promise to keep holding rallies and town halls because they say they won't allow this bad law to give the government a blank slate to control their lives.
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