August 20, 2016 8:45 pm
Updated: August 21, 2016 12:08 am

Controversial Bill 6 debate heating up in Alberta

WATCH ABOVE: Progressive Conservative leadership contender Jason Kenney has promised to repeal Bill 6 if he becomes premier. Jill Croteau reports.

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Saturday marked the annual Farmworkers’ Day but instead of being a celebration, many say it’s been marred by a politician’s shameful promise.

Progressive Conservative leadership contender Jason Kenney has promised to repeal Bill 6 if he becomes premier. Bill 6 is a piece of legislation that was passed by the NDP intended to protect waged workers on farms and create industry employment standards.

It was so controversial it triggered province-wide protests for weeks.

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In a statement released to Global News, Kenney stated “The NDP announced Bill 6 without consulting those most affected. Rural Alberta sees Bill 6 for exactly what it is: an ideological attack from an urbanite NDP government that understands little about how rural Albertan families have lived and worked for generations.”

But Liberal leader David Swann insisted it was a necessary workplace law. He says Kenney’s efforts to repeal the bill can only be called crass political opportunism.

“He’s going to have a big fight on his hands. All of Canada now sees Alberta as a pariah in terms of protection for farm workers and most Albertans know it’s unacceptable to leave farm workers preventably injured or unprotected,” Swann said.

READ MORE: Bill 6: Alberta says 6 task forces will craft farm safety rules starting in June

Stavely rancher and farmer Larry Sears applauded Kenney’s commitment. He’s a fifth-generation rancher who opposes Bill 6.

“It was totally unnecessary and it’s an intrusion into a productive segment of society that didn’t need a union imprint on it,” Sears said.

Before Bill 6, the only way injured farm workers could receive compensation was through the courts.

READ MORE: Cheering crowds to furious farmers – Some key events in Alberta NDP’s 1st year

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