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Local farmers and ranchers will have input on UCP’s new farm safety legislation

Local farmer and ranchers will get to chance to talk with a provincial minister about farm safety changes.

The session on Friday, Aug. 9 at the Ag Corral in St Paul, will be a stop on the provincial government’s Farm, Freedom, and Safety Act consultation tour, the new law that repeals the NDP goventment’s controversial Bill 6.

Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen will hear from the grass roots about what should stay with the bill and what should go, said Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul MLA David Hanson.

“We’re repealing Bill 6, but we’ve heard there is a need for some farm safety legislation so we’re going out to talk to farmers and ranchers and get it right,” said Hanson on the Alberta Legislature.

“If we hear a consensus from people about certain aspects of the legislation, we’ll be acting on those and the Honourable Minister Dreeshen will be there on sight with us and talking with people on 1-on-1.”

The NDP’s Bill 6 stoked divisions between rural communities and the provincial government when it came into law in 2016 as the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act.

Hanson says part of the reason was because it was over-reaching and affected family farms.

“A lot of the farmers and ranchers that we talk to already had insurance for their workers if they had workers on-sight that covered them 24 hours a day. Bill 6 forced them into Workers’ Compensation Board [insurance] which only covers your working hours and it’s more expensive,” he said.

“We heard a lot that that’s one of the big things we’ll have to change.”

The consultation will be from 2:00-4:00pm on Friday, August 9.

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