Farmers were the last people to be consulted on the NDP’s farm unionization law, Bill 6. But now, thanks to new Access to Information documents, we know who the first person to be consulted by Rachel Notley was.
These shocking new documents reveal that barely weeks after taking office, three days after being sworn in, the NDP caucus had a meeting with Gil McGowan, the president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. And the very first thing on their agenda was Bill 6. This is directly from the briefing notes:
“In addition to Employment Standards coverage for farm and ranch workers, AFL has long advocated for the inclusion of farm workers into the occupational health and safety code and may also wish to discuss mandatory WCB coverage and coverage under the labour relations code.”
Big labour unions had Rachel Notley’s ear about Bill 6 long before the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association or any other agricultural producer group. We know from these documents that the NDP were working hard on Bill 6 since right after taking power, but they didn’t want to hear from farmers until after the bill was passed. Farmers were a second, or even a third thought.
Rachel Notley wanted to hear first from her friends in Big Labour in urban Edmonton before she heard from rural farmers about the law that would drastically change farming forever in Alberta. Bill 6 was never about safety. Bill 6 was about unions from the very beginning. Rachel Notley and her NDP were willing to spend a winter painting farmers as unsafe and miserly just to get their union agenda in place.