Since its proposal in November 2015, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act (Bill 6) has faced heavy criticism from Albertans both within and outside of the agriculture industry because of the government’s lack of public consultation. Provisions such as mandatory Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) insurance, as well as “basic safety standards” as outlined in Alberta’s Occupational Health & Safety Act, took effect January 1, 2016. The changes apply to paid employees who are non-family members.
In May 2016, six technical working groups (TWG) were formed as a response to the criticism this legislation faced. These groups met to develop recommendations on how worker protections should be implemented to meet the unique needs of the agriculture industry. The TWGs are made up of representatives from various sectors, including many varied voices from the agriculture industry.