Statement by David Swann: Government Must not Leave Farm Workers at Altar

EDMONTON, AB (November 30, 2015): Dr. David Swann released the following statements regarding the delay in debating Bill 6:

“Today’s actions by the NDP have put the much needed update to Alberta’s workplace safety regulations in serious doubt.

“Albertans are engaged in an active and lively debate regarding Bill 6. This debate has thus far been passionate but largely respectful, despite an abundance of misinformation regarding what is proposed in the legislation.

“This misinformation is due in large part to serious communication failures on the part of the NDP, a failure that has been expertly taken advantage of by Alberta’s two conservative parties.

“Albertans are prepared for this debate to continue, as the government takes part in scheduled consultation and begins the process of debating the legislation in the assembly – a process that was supposed to begin this evening.

“Strangely, shortly after today’s Question Period, the NDP suddenly canceled this evening’s sitting. This raises the disturbing possibility that government may decide to withdraw this badly needed legislation and continue the unacceptable status quo.

“Bill 6 is not a perfect bill. I support changes to this legislation, particularly when it comes to creating exemptions for family farms. However, these changes can and should be made on the floor of the house as legislators debate the bill in the next two weeks.

“Paid farm workers in this province have waited long enough for the right to refuse unsafe work, they have waited long enough to for any injuries that they may suffer on the job to be investigated, and they have waited long enough for a fair means of compensation when through WCB.

“This government gave its word to paid farm workers, we expect them to honour that.”