EDMONTON — The provincial government has taken out a 30-second radio advertisement promoting its contentious farm safety bill, Bill 6.
The advertisement states:
“Families shared their concerns about farm safety legislation. We’re listening. We’ll make sure injured employees or their families are compensated just like other provinces, and amendments will ensure family owned and operated farms and ranch operations that they can keep working as they always have even if family members are paid. Kids can still learn to farm. Neighbours can still volunteer to help each other out. That’s how this province was built.”
The following audio of the advertisement was provided to Global News by 630 CHED.
The NDP’s Bill 6, which passed after amendments were made to the original version earlier this month, sparked rallies and demonstrations across the province.
The bill brings workers’ compensation benefits and health and safety rules to paid workers on farms but farmers argue that it will bury their operations in red tape and damage the fabric of rural life.
Wildrose MLA Glenn van Dijken, a farmer himself, doesn’t believe advertising a bill that caused so much public outcry is the best way to alleviate concerns.
“If the ads were going to be giving farmers and ranchers a sense of clarity on how consultation will move forward, that would be appropriate. But ads that are essentially just trying to sell the message of, ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you’ is concerning,” Dijken said.
“To try and alleviate and lessen the worry out there by advertising, it has minimal effect.”
A spokesperson for Premier Rachel Notley said the ad campaign takes place in three stages and is running on radio, print and industry agriculture publications from Nov. 16 to Jan. 1.
“Our government is focused on ensuring Albertans understand what the farm safety legislation means for them and their families. The advertising campaign is one of a number of ways we are connecting with farmers and ranchers to make sure their questions are answered and they know where to access more information,” Cheryl Oates said.
Oates said the total cost of the ad for all three phases was $211,650. Production and execution fees were $39,525.