Farmers rally in huge numbers at Alberta legislature; government delays debate on Bill 6

The steps in front of the legislature were packed with farmers from all corners of the province on Monday as producers continue to rally against the NDP Government’s Bill 6.

Over a thousand farmers showed up to voice their displeasure with the Enhanced Protection For Farm and Workers Act.

Smaller rallies were held around the province, including several on the QE-II where farmers lined trucks, combines and tractors along the major highway to show their opposition to the bill.

Inside the legislature, Question Period was all about Bill 6 as the opposition parties hammered away at the government over its lack of consultation.

Western Canadian Wheat Growers Director Matt Sawyer says he was pleased to see the rally happening.

“There was a need for it and it was great to see that farmers were out there and uniting as one group saying that this can’t be tolerated.  We need education, not regulation and that’s exactly how it should be,” said Sawyer.

The farmer from Acme says this bill is being rammed through at warp speed with no consultation.

“This bill should be halted ASAP sent back to committee for study and consultation should start to take place.”

He says this is a good example of putting the cart before the horse.

“There hasn’t been adequate consultation with farmers or farm groups and you can see by the protests in Edmonton, this is just not acceptable with farmers.”

Debate on the bill was supposed to happen Monday evening, but was delayed.

A government spokesperson tells me the evening session was cancelled because it appears MLA’s will be sitting again next week.

All four major crop commissions issued a joint statement Monday urging the government to listen to farmers and for all producers to speak out on Bill 6.

The crop commissions are strongly encouraging farmers to send their questions and feedback about Bill 6 to the government email address: farmandranch@gov.ab.ca.

A full list of town hall meetings can be found at https://ers.humanservices.alberta.ca/jstl-farmandranch.aspx.

Further information from the provincial government can be found at http://work.alberta.ca/farm-and-ranch.html.