There’s been a lot of controversy surrounding Bill 6 recently and the serious lack of consultation coming from an irresponsible government.
Then one day last week I overheard the whole situation simplified by an explanation that makes so much sense it just might be crazy: Premier Rachel Notley is punishing Albertan’s who didn’t vote for her.
Until Bill 6 tore apart Alberta’s agricultural way of life the industry was exempt from labour laws pertaining to items such as holidays, overtime pay and minimum wage.
According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the three definitions of “politician” are: 1) a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government; 2) a person engaged in party politics as a profession and, 3) a person primarily interested in political office for selfish or other narrow, usually short-sighted reasons.
Bill 6 is here to promise and ensure the farmers, labourers and farm children have a safer environment.
But Notley isn’t here to selflessly solve all the dangerous problems of those who are clearly unable to see cows, too, take holidays and don’t need to be milked or fed when they need to be milked or fed. She’s here to be a politician, and following quite nicely in the pattern of the third definition.
Alberta averages approximately 17 farm related fatalities per year. While every death, especially those of children taken in any accident is an indescribable tragedy, the numbers pale in the wake of dangers children face in other environments in Alberta.
According to the Government of Alberta Human Services website numbers from 2006 — and I’m willing to bet those numbers have jumped significantly over the past nine years — states there’s an estimated 8,400 homeless people living in Alberta. In 2006, 10 per cent were young adults and 11 per cent were families with school aged children.
According to information released by the Centre for Suicide Prevention in 2014, 38 youths below the age of 20 committed suicide in 2005 in Alberta; 34 youths in 2006; 22 in 2007; 45 in 2008; 35 in 2009; 41 in 2010; 27 in 2011; 49 in 2012 and 36 in 2013.
A total taken of all ages in Alberta are: 415 in 2005; 447 in 2006; 468 in 2007; 484 in 2008; 483 in 2009; 524 in 2010; 489 in 2011; 507 in 2012; 353 in 2013 and 547 in 2014.
The Alberta Transportation website states, from 2009 to 2013 444 people were killed in alcohol-related collisions and 80 people alone were killed in 2013.
Where are the resources huge amounts of resources, finances and time going into creating solutions to ensure these peoples’ safety?
Rachel Notley needs to open her eyes and step away from the mirror. Yes, family farms are not what they used to be and they need the provinces support, as they themselves are a major pillar of the province.
But unless farmers for the last 100 years have been flubbing their way to successful crops and world famous beef with international trade relations, Notley is not the type of help they need.
Amelia Naismith is the new reporter for the Leduc/Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer and writes a regular column for the newspaper.