Statement on Bill 6

December 07, 2015

Although it is a provincial matter, my office has heard an extremely strong reaction to Bill 6. I have put together a few thoughts on the issue based on my own experiences both as a farmer and a lawmaker, and based on the feedback I am hearing throughout the constituency.

My riding has thousands of farmers and they have been clear that they feel blindsided by this legislation. The bill was introduced without consultation with family farms. It affects 45,000 family farms across the province and the government didn't bother to ask them how it would affect them. They are the ones with expert knowledge on the issue, and their voices deserve to be heard.

The people I talk to are open to safety measures, but the blanket rules and lack of clarity in the legislation as it stands goes way beyond that.

The Premier, the Ministers and the departments responsible are all giving different versions of the proposed legislation. It is obvious that the legislation isn't clear when those groups can't agree on what it says. The Alberta Government is pushing forward by saying, "we will pass the bill and address your concerns later." That isn't good enough.

I am standing beside my constituents in Red Deer Mountain View and asking that the Government of Alberta hit the pause button, consult with farmers and come up with legislation that is clearly protects family farms.