On Friday, nine agricultural organizations penned a letter to Premier Rachel Notley calling on her to suspend all action on Bill 6.
They are also demanding the province conduct meaningful consultation and implement changes to the bill.
The Alberta Wheat Commission, Alberta Barley, Alberta Pulse Growers, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Landscape Alberta Nursery Trades Association, Alberta Elk Commission, Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association, Alberta Oat Growers Association and Alberta Beekeepers Commission have all signed the letter.
Alberta Wheat Commission Chairman Kent Erickson says if this process was done properly, these sessions would have allowed the government time to give farmers the answers they need to understand and reflect the changes in the bill.
“Every time we have a session, we have another reading and it passes a reading and the bill has stayed the same,” said Erickson. “We do have a couple of amendments that they have brought out, the unfortunate part about the amendments to the bill is it isn’t really addressing necessarily the concerns we have for different parts of this bill.”
Erickson says the omnibus bill’s complexity and the speed it is being rushed through is making it hard on producers to get a real handle on how it is going to affect them.
“We do feel the farming industry has the right and the obligation to have safety, but at the same time when you have such a large bill with so many different parts, they need to listen and also show some feedback and show some valid changes to this bill and some time to show detail before we can jump on board and support something like this.”
Thousands of farmers and ranchers have come forward since the bill was introduced to voice their concern with various parts of the bill most asking for the bill to be killed or at the very least delayed and sent to committee for proper consultation.
Erickson says they also have a concern as to what happens after the legislation is passed.
“This is the time when we need to get the laws right. The regulations, unfortunately, the challenge after laws come, it goes down a level, it goes down to bureaucracy and into the regulators and they don’t necessarily have to listen, they’re not required by a vote, by a representatives from a government to make any changes that are in favour or opposed and so we just feel this is s important to so many people right now and you can see it on Facebook and Twitter and at these town halls that there is so much of an uprising and concern for this bill that it makes so much to delay.”
Here is the letter the organizations sent: