September 24, 2019 Alberta farms and ranches operate differently than other employers. The Government of Alberta recognize that rules need to balance the unique economic pressures of farming, with the need for a flexible, common-sense workplace legislation for farms and ranches and as such began consultative work to inform the Farm Freedom and Safety Act. United Farmer’s of Alberta Co-operative Ltd. (UFA) participated in the engagement process to provide feedback that in turn, will help to shape future farm and ranch workplace legislation. Consultation took place over the months of July and August, in over 20 communities across the province of Alberta. UFA delegate participation included the following: Glenn Groeneveld - Okotoks Leroy Holthe - Taber Mark Sayers - Lethbridge Brent Christensen - Camrose Lance Giebelhaus - Vegreville Brian Wittle - Olds Darcy Jensen – Drumheller John Vallieres – Picture Butte Government attendees included the Minister of Agriculture & Forestry, Deven Dreeshin, various MLAs and other department officials. Feedback was gathered on the following topics to establish the right balance of workplace legislation: Employment Standards: flexibility on rules like hours of work, holiday and vacation pay, days of rest, minimum wage and youth employment Occupational Health and Safety: basic safety standards and any special requirements Workers Compensation: choice of market insurance or WCB and identify basic coverage standards such as medical support, back to work support, and loss of income protection Labour Relations: areas of improvement under the Labour Relations Code Feedback is currently under review and the Farm Freedom and Safety Legislation is expected to be introduced in the provincial legislature this coming October. The Legislation is expected to incorporate the input given by producers from across the province. UFA will continue to provide updates of the Bill’s status as it goes through the Legislative stages. For more information on the Farm Freedom and Safety Act, please visit https://www.alberta.ca/farm-freedom-and-safety-engagement.aspx or call 403-310-FARM.