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Thread: Bill 6: Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act

  1. #1
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    Default Bill 6: Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act

    I haven't seen anything regarding this bill here however amongst my social media friends there's a lot of conflict going on. I'm in the camp of this was long overdue and necessary however there appear to be a lot of people who feel agriculture is a special case and should remain exempt from OH&S, WCB, and labour rules.

    There is even dispute amongst farmers:

    Bill 6 and the End of the Family Farm

    and

    Will Safety Laws Kill the Family Farm?

    For me the relevant quote is from the later piece:

    When my son is old enough to get his first job – whether it be at a fast food restaurant or the dairy farm down the road – I expect him to have the right to refuse unsafe work in his workplace. I expect him to return home safely each night. I expect him to be provided training, resources and equipment that will allow him to safely perform his job. I expect that if he is hurt at work, during the performance of his duties, his employer will have a system in place to ensure that he can be adequately compensated for his lost time and that the incident will be investigated so that hopefully it won’t happen to someone else. So why, if I expect this from the service or manufacturing industry, would I not expect this from the agricultural industry?

    Links:

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    I've never understood the nostalgia for the "family farm", and why it should override everything. Are we concerned about "family factories", "family foresters" or "family construction companies"? Let's just exempt those from all regulations as well! The fact is is that farms are a business and an industry little different from any other, and most these days are multi-, multi-million dollar ones at that. They should be regulated no differently.

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    On the CBC article farmers are claiming that they don't need the bill because they already do everything in their power to protect workers.

    If they already did everything in their power to protect workers, they wouldn't care about the bill because they are already doing everything it mandates.

    Seems to me they just want to continue ripping off their workers and managing unsafe work environments.

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    Lived on a farm as a kid, friends were kids of farmers, went to school with farmers. Bring on the OHS for farms. I have seen some messed up $*** happen on farms. Goriest things I have ever witnessed have been due to farm injuries. Carried some PTSD from my childhood because of it.

    My take on it:

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    I worked for our family welding and oilfield services company for a number of years. I would consider farm work to be potentially safer, more regular, and easier than what we were doing. I say potentially safer as work in the oilfield can be exceedingly dangerous but is now very well regulated.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    I am from the farm too. My best friend as a teen was killed in a farming accident as were a few from our school. Never enough safety in my opinion, everywhere. Strict laws must exist.
    Last edited by Drumbones; 26-11-2015 at 12:32 PM.

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    Well said Marcel.

    Safety is a culture thing, and there is very little of it in farming. Takes years, even decades to get it. I know it did in our business. As Paul pointed out, it's pretty pathetic it's even up for debate between people in this province considering a family just recently lost 3 daughters in a farming tragedy that made international headlines around the world.

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    What I find disheartening is the amount of disinformation I see in the opposition. Lots of people seem to think this means farmers and their families will have to regulate their own hours of work as per the labour code when it's pretty clearly stated that's not the case. OH&S applies to everyone, labour code will apply to employees.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    Just this past week a ten year old kid was killed on a farm near Killam. He was driving a forklift on a dirt road when he veered off to one side into the ditch. The forklift overturned pinning and killing the boy. Incredibly, one of his parents said that the boy was experienced in driving the forklift.

    How the hell is something like this allowed to happen?
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    Good piece from a couple years ago:

    https://albertaviews.ab.ca/2013/04/2...afe-workplace/

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    I find it very disturbing that young kids are allowed to drive and operate large farm machinery. Even in the case of the 3 sisters that were killed early this year while playing on a grain truck. The young 10 year old that was killed in Killam driving a forklift truck. They announced no charges will be laid. I get it that farm people have a love of the land but there definitely should be restrictions at what age their kids can be given work that is made for adults. The Hutterites colonies usually have well run farms but they rely on a lot of labour coming from youngsters. I'm glad they are bringing in laws to try to get some of these deaths and injuries down. Hopefully they start to inforce rules as to what age kids can operate tractors etc.
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    For another perspective....I've got family with both large and small operations and have been following much of the debate on social media.

    I find little in those conversations opposing OHS. There are some that are not happy that they are currently covering health and injury insurance for employee and will now have to carry WCB on top as they feel if they drop the private coverage to pay for the WCB they will get crucified.

    As far as "paid, hired staff" not seeing a bunch of trouble with the employment standards except where it relates to hours....it's is a culture used to working like crazy and then taking a long pause. Changing to the Employment standards will create a ton of change and make some staff seasonal rather than full time. Painful for some.

    The real push back is against regulating family and this is lifestyle and you ether understand the perspective or you don't.

    But it will cause change, expenses will increase.

    My 2 bits

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    Well, as Trudeau said

    "Why? Because it's 2015"

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    Really....because it's 2015 we can now regulate people's lifestyles? My that'll open up a can of worms.

    So much for buy local

    My opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Really....because it's 2015 we can now regulate people's lifestyles? My that'll open up a can of worms.

    So much for buy local

    My opinion
    We regulate every other type of family business. This is not a new thing.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Really....because it's 2015 we can now regulate people's lifestyles? My that'll open up a can of worms.

    So much for buy local

    My opinion
    We regulate every other type of family business. This is not a new thing.
    Yes but we do not regulate their lifestyle. This is a case where (from what I hear) the business side (staffing, employment, safety) is not the issue, it is the interferring in family lifestyle....but that is ok here?

    Farming is one of the few small businesses left that once past the paid staff is really a life style, a choice in a way of life. A large number of the family farms require the family to have outside jobs to support the farm...a lifestyle choice.

    So are you saying we should just say "they are all a business too bad" and hand off to straight corporate agriculture and factory farms?

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    What specifically does this bill change that is strictly "lifestyle". It's a vague, loaded word that doesn't say what the actual complaint is. Most of the complaints/fears I have seen haven't been remotely true.

    I think this farmer nailed it:

    The fear that this act will kill family farms is rooted in a pessimistic approach. This fear assumes that the government will take literal interpretation and fervently enforce every aspect of regulations and work practices that have not yet been drafted. There are many things we do in our every day lives that are already technically prohibited by law, yet go unchecked. Paying my neighbour’s teenager to mow my lawn. Lemonade stands and bake sales that don’t have health inspector permits. These are little gems of our society that are allowed to exist, largely unchecked, so why do we believe that the government will suddenly swoop in with both guns blazing and throw the baby out with the bath water? Fear breeds fear. One of my neighbours said to me “I just saw a post that the bill makes unionization of farm workers mandatory”. My response was: “A) Have you read the bill? B) Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook and C) Don’t let fear of the unknown control you.” Sure the bill is beneficial to unions. The bill creates worker equality and minimum labour standards for anyone EMPLOYED on a farm. The bill sets out minimum occupational health and safety expectations (further detail through safe work practices and regulations) for anyone WORKING on a farm.
    And yes, these changes will cause changes in the lives of the farmers, just as laws in the past caused changes in the lives of families running restaurants. That's life, it's not new, and it's not unique. The constant special pleading by farmers is disingenuous. There's no reason their lifestyles take precedence over the health and lives of their families and workers.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  18. #18

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    As I said before....found few that complain about the OHS, WCB or employment standards for outside staff.

    But you wanted specifics...so having already read the links you thoughtfully provided I made a couple calls to people I know to get an idea. Certainly not definitive but better than me guessing.

    First thing I quickly discovered is the effects will be varied, likely no two the same.

    1) Fellow who has become a bit of a, friend as we have been getting some natural produce from on occasion when in the area (only way to get it affordably) has a 40 ac +/- mixed vegetable farm. Works a full time job to subsidize it and made the choice of going to the lifestyle for his kids (four between 8 and 14 if I remember right) and wife, no staff. Seems after the announcement he got both legal and financial advise.

    Kids will not be able to do anything on the farm, period. Unless they start a separate veggie patch by the house. Older ones cannot help out unless logged as employees with WCB etc.

    Now it gets silly in my opinion...
    Kids can take care of the horse, it's a pet...but not the chickens or cattle, as they sell eggs, chicken (free range) and 1-2 cattle as beef so they are business.

    If they start a second garden by the house the kids can help with it, but the current gardens (in spite of using for home consumption as well as sales, they can't...the older ones only if logged as employees with WCB etc.

    The older ones can ride their dirt bikes and quads but can't drive the pick up truck on the property to help dad with fencing. (registered farm truck so it's business)

    Come harvest in the fall kids can't help he will have to hire as under the new provisions apparently the older kids even if hired as employees can't drive the pick ups on the farm. (But they can ride their dirt bikes, but not for work)

    Financially the advice he is getting is get out. He works full time to subsidize the lifestyle, have his kids grow up in the country, learn about where food comes from and they get to have a stay at home mom.

    Or he can defy the new rules and if caught face some pretty massive penalties he is told.

    He is not sure what they are going to do...but needs to decide before spring and is looking for more information.

    Makes me wonder how that will effect the other smaller/natural market gardeny type farms.

    2) Flip side...old family friend out well east runs several (four I think) sections, cattle and crops. He is waiting to meet with his legal and financial folks but doesn't figure it will make much difference. Kids grown up and long gone (couple have their own farms) he has 4-5 staff that have been on full benefits for years, he is worrying that a couple are getting close to retiring and there are not many young people in the pipe in spite of the solid wages and benefits...

    His opinion...not gonna hurt the guys his size and bigger, but will kill those under a section.

    Now this is just the info they've got and their opinions...but sure looks to me that the writing is on the wall for small operations.

    Little guy, hobby farm...lifestyle choice, yeah they may very well be done.

    My two bits and what I've learned anyway

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    Just a question as I'm not sure... does any or every other province have similar legislation?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Just a question as I'm not sure... does any or every other province have similar legislation?
    From the reading I did before drawing my own conclusions...yes the majority does.

    But the difference is in the details and most others differentiate between employees and family on the labour standards side.

    As I read them anyway

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    Why is it that people consider it a bad thing that children can't work on commercial farms?

    If you owned a clothing factory, would it be ok to make your 12 year old work on the assembly line? How about a mine? Can't deprive the good old family mine of vital 8 year old labourers, can we?

    This is a developed nation. We have child labour laws for a reason. There is no good argument for why we should let children work in dangerous environments like farms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Why is it that people consider it a bad thing that children can't work on commercial farms?

    If you owned a clothing factory, would it be ok to make your 12 year old work on the assembly line? How about a mine? Can't deprive the good old family mine of vital 8 year old labourers, can we?

    This is a developed nation. We have child labour laws for a reason. There is no good argument for why we should let children work in dangerous environments like farms.
    Think what you may be missing is while all farms are considered businesses not all are commercial farms...there is a difference and different reasons for people being involved in small farms, family tradition, healthy life style, education and other.

    I think it is one thing that I've learned in researching this.

    Edit added after...

    So to turn the question, what's wrong with someone wanting to raise a family on a small operation (often subsidized by outside employement) where they are all part of leading a healthy lifestyle while growing natural foods and learning where their food comes from...not mention offsetting costs and helping others by selling what they don't need.
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 27-11-2015 at 02:45 PM.

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    Sorry, but driving heavy machinery, operating dangerous bladed equipment, working in grain silos, working with toxic pesticides etc are not part of a "healthy lifestyle".

    This is 2015, not the pioneer wild west. Call child labour on farms what it is: the sad exploitation of children in a highly dangerous environment.

    Kids die every single year because people have their heads so far up their rears that they believe farms are some beautiful, wonderful cartoon environment where everyone is happy and in touch with nature.

    No, farms are highly dangerous working environments. Children do not belong there, just like they do not belong on an assembly line or in a mine. Fyi - the same arguments were made when child labour in both those places was outlawed.

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    You've avoided the question...painting all farms and farming operations with one brush.

    Even commercial farms (agree not a place for kids) are not all the same...challenge you to find a pesticide or herbicide on my brother in laws family's farm. As an example.

    And yes I know a number of people that have moved to small operations like I described for the healthy natural lifestyle.

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    If none of the conditions exist that are being covered by the new law, then they wouldn't be impacted.

    Bar none, children should not work in dangerous environments. If the environment truly isn't dangerous, they wouldn't be affected by this legislative change.

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    ^#18^
    I don't see the problem with most of that as I doubt in cases like working the garden and collecting eggs you're going to have OH&S or WCB bothering with the small guys. As has been pointed out there are a ton of technical violations of the these laws every day that are overlooked on practical grounds.

    As for the rest I still don't see what makes farms different than any other business. I have a friend who ran a fairly unprofitable store that supported his values. He worked another full time job to support that store. He still had to follow all the laws for his son to help out at that store.

    It's unfortunate that some people may have to leave the business or figure out how to make their businesses more sustainable but to leave the entire industry deregulated for the sake of these small farms does not make sense. That said, I can see the argument for amending the bill to help out these small businesses. Also note that not everything is contained in the bill itself. OH&S regulations are to be set later can could, based on public consultation, be tailored for these small operations.
    Last edited by Paul Turnbull; 27-11-2015 at 02:58 PM.

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    Well, it sounds like most, if not all, provinces already have similar legislation in place from what Thomas said a few posts back. Probably for decades even. And somehow they have survived.

    Rural Albertan's will adapt.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    If none of the conditions exist that are being covered by the new law, then they wouldn't be impacted.

    Bar none, children should not work in dangerous environments. If the environment truly isn't dangerous, they wouldn't be affected by this legislative change.
    Still haven't answered the question but beyond that read the legislation that "Paul" courtesously posted...they are affected, which is where Alberta's legislation is different from many others.

    Paul re:
    I don't see the problem with most of that as I doubt in cases like working the garden and collecting eggs you're going to have OH&S or WCB bothering with the small guys. As has been pointed out there are a ton of technical violations of the these laws every day that are overlooked on practical grounds.
    As much as I'd like to believe you are correct they alredy have very similar examples in the Q/A section of one of the links you so kindly posted. So don''t think the blind eye will be on duty.

    That said, I can see the argument for amending the bill to help out these small businesses.
    I agree and I would have thought those consultations would have taken place before the legislation.

    My opinion

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    ^Not sure why you have my name in quotes, Paul really is my name.

    The FAQ is going to state the letter of the law but that doesn't mean they're going to have OH&S officers out policing family gardens on hobby farms. Even when I was writing the safety manual for my parent's welding shop I'm not sure I ever actually saw someone directly form OH&S. These things tend to be complaint driven.

    For me the relevant part of the FAQ is:

    OHS technical rules would be developed in consultation with farm and ranch industry representatives. For employment standards and labour relations, the consultation will also explore possible special provisions to address the unique aspects of the farm and ranch industry.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Just a question as I'm not sure... does any or every other province have similar legislation?
    EVERY other jurisdiction in Canada has similar legislation. Life seems to go on at the farm in all the other provinces. This is long overdo, and after the requisite period of rabble-rousing and complaining, farmers here will move on and adapt just fine.
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  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post

    The FAQ is going to state the letter of the law but that doesn't mean they're going to have OH&S officers out policing family gardens on hobby farms.
    Generally, such a visit would only be driven by a specific incident causing serious injury or death.
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  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    ^Not sure why you have my name in quotes, Paul really is my name.
    Just cause it seemed like a good idea at the time...no more, no less (lol)

    The FAQ is going to state the letter of the law but that doesn't mean they're going to have OH&S officers out policing family gardens on hobby farms. Even when I was writing the safety manual for my parent's welding shop I'm not sure I ever actually saw someone directly form OH&S. These things tend to be complaint driven.
    Sure, but it is the letter of the law that you are accountable to and must plan your long term on.

    I don't know about you but I've never planned anything with the intent of breaching regulations from the start.

    For me the relevant part of the FAQ is:

    OHS technical rules would be developed in consultation with farm and ranch industry representatives. For employment standards and labour relations, the consultation will also explore possible special provisions to address the unique aspects of the farm and ranch industry.
    And from the input I am getting the OHS is the least of the concerns expressed, so the employmement stds/provisions are most pressing and the area getting the most heat.

    But I guess it's all about perspective

  33. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kitlope View Post
    Just a question as I'm not sure... does any or every other province have similar legislation?
    EVERY other jurisdiction in Canada has similar legislation. Life seems to go on at the farm in all the other provinces. This is long overdo, and after the requisite period of rabble-rousing and complaining, farmers here will move on and adapt just fine.
    Key word being SIMILAR. The OHS/WCB side is long overdo and seems those I talk to have no issue with it.

    And yes the majority of farmers will adapt, the're big enough...the small ones oh well to bad I guess.

  34. #34

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    I've still yet to hear a convincing argument why farmers should be exempt from policy which affects family businesses in ANY other industry.

    * I'll edit to clarify no argument that doesn't consist of solely intangible, feel-good, 'way of life' arguments which could equally apply to any other family business.
    Last edited by bulliver; 27-11-2015 at 06:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Really....because it's 2015 we can now regulate people's lifestyles? My that'll open up a can of worms.

    So much for buy local

    My opinion
    We regulate, or try to regulate, people's lifestyles all the time. In this case, it's being done for objective safety, not some kind of cultural identification.
    Last edited by AShetsen; 28-11-2015 at 01:23 PM.

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    What about the three girls who died in Stettler? Farm safety is everybody's business.
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  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by bulliver View Post
    I've still yet to hear a convincing argument why farmers should be exempt from policy which affects family businesses in ANY other industry.

    * I'll edit to clarify no argument that doesn't consist of solely intangible, feel-good, 'way of life' arguments which could equally apply to any other family business.
    Then you'd be on the same page as the majority of farmers I've talked to...their issue is NOT the OHS.

  38. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cat View Post
    What about the three girls who died in Stettler? Farm safety is everybody's business.
    I do not want to come off calaous here so please don't take it that way.

    The girls were not killed in a work related accident, it was simply an accident. It could as just as easily been a drowning in snow or water.

    It does not minize the tragic loss, the pain, suffering and the sad end to young lives.

    All safety is everyones business...not just farm safety. So where shall we start next?

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    ^ You start with Bill 6.

    The young lad in Killam could have drowned in snow or water also. But he didn't. He was driving a forklift, a work-related vehicle I'd say, not the sort of thing you'd drive for pleasure purposes.

    Farm or industrial plant or public road, what the hell is a ten-year-old doing in charge of a heavy duty piece of machinery? How does a dangerous practice get passed off a cultural thing? Something is so out of whack here.
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  40. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by howie View Post
    ^ You start with Bill 6.

    The young lad in Killam could have drowned in snow or water also. But he didn't. He was driving a forklift, a work-related vehicle I'd say, not the sort of thing you'd drive for pleasure purposes.

    Farm or industrial plant or public road, what the hell is a ten-year-old doing in charge of a heavy duty piece of machinery? How does a dangerous practice get passed off a cultural thing? Something is so out of whack here.
    Howie you are accurate with this one...it is a farm accident and there are few other places it could of happened. We don't know if he was just moving it or working with it but a farm is one of the few places it could happen.

    Terribly tragic.

    That said...hundreds of kids that age are riding off road motorcycles, some competitively race them. In this region there are classes fro racing go carts for kids even younger. It's winter and we have snow and that opens up the whole snowmobile conversation.

    Should kids be banned from all this as well?

    From what I heard this morning this 10 year old was being allowed to drive the forklift back to it's parking place...not carrying a load but it ether way tragic accident and I feel great loss for the family.
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 28-11-2015 at 10:03 AM.

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Should kids be banned from all this as well?
    Yes.

    If ya wanna be reckless, make sure you can vote.

    I'm quite serious.

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    After reading social media, this thread, and a handful of other sources it seems quite clear to me that the following could be potential solutions to many of the concerns bring brought up:
    - WCB group coverage. Classify based on general # workers, not individually. If you're a small family farm, you'd have blanket coverage based on your needs, not based on how many individuals are helping on any specific day.
    - salaried hired hands. This is already the case on many farms. This eliminates the whole time sheet issue as well as the overtime pay issue for those 12-16hr days during harvest.

    The real sticking point seems to be the kids and the distinction between home and work. Don't really have an answer for that at this point though.

  43. #43

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    Thoughtful post Alex.

    Seeing as you have been on some of the same sources I have and would agree the OHS isn't the big issue.

    Salaried employees likely are not a solution as they would need to designated as "professions" to allow the weird flexing of hours that need balanced out.

    The home/work/family side of things can be worked out. I haven't read the detail of Saskatchewan's legislation but am advised by family that live and farm there that it was resolved before it was ever put in place. Our government might have tried the same approach rather than wanting to ram it in and then modify, would have been co operative and much less drama.

    Pleasure to see someone actually looking at both sides and seeking solutions...good on ya

  44. #44

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    People insist on unnecessary distinctions.

    A death is a death regardless of where it happens. Ignorance and disregard of safety, dangerous behaviour whether sanctioned, tolerated, encouraged, or ignored happens both at home and at work.

    You claim there is an issue of freedom here. There is none; dangerous behaviour contains no thought, expression, or conscience. You receive your medical attention and police services paid for by public money. You will conform to legitimate and wisely used authority, or you are welcome to take your precious body into the chaos-country of your choice.

    Or, at least, that's how it should be. The proposed bill goes nowhere near far enough.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Thoughtful post Alex.

    Seeing as you have been on some of the same sources I have and would agree the OHS isn't the big issue.

    Salaried employees likely are not a solution as they would need to designated as "professions" to allow the weird flexing of hours that need balanced out.

    The home/work/family side of things can be worked out. I haven't read the detail of Saskatchewan's legislation but am advised by family that live and farm there that it was resolved before it was ever put in place. Our government might have tried the same approach rather than wanting to ram it in and then modify, would have been co operative and much less drama.

    Pleasure to see someone actually looking at both sides and seeking solutions...good on ya
    Thanks Tom.

    The 'salary' distinction might have been a poor choice of words, but some provision or classification specific to agriculture should be explored. The title 'Temporary Domestic Worker' springs to mind, as that's essentially what the seasonal help really is. Either way, it's plain to see that there are potential solutions out there and that more meaningful consultation is required. On the other hand, it's also pretty obvious that some measures are long overdue, and that farmers and ranchers will have to loosen their grip on the picture of the idyllic family farm.

  46. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by howie View Post
    ^ You start with Bill 6.

    The young lad in Killam could have drowned in snow or water also. But he didn't. He was driving a forklift, a work-related vehicle I'd say, not the sort of thing you'd drive for pleasure purposes.

    Farm or industrial plant or public road, what the hell is a ten-year-old doing in charge of a heavy duty piece of machinery? How does a dangerous practice get passed off a cultural thing? Something is so out of whack here.
    Howie you are accurate with this one...it is a farm accident and there are few other places it could of happened. We don't know if he was just moving it or working with it but a farm is one of the few places it could happen.

    Terribly tragic.

    That said...hundreds of kids that age are riding off road motorcycles, some competitively race them. In this region there are classes fro racing go carts for kids even younger. It's winter and we have snow and that opens up the whole snowmobile conversation.

    Should kids be banned from all this as well?

    From what I heard this morning this 10 year old was being allowed to drive the forklift back to it's parking place...not carrying a load but it ether way tragic accident and I feel great loss for the family.
    In the case of kids riding snowmobiles, motorbikes, go carts, farm equipment etc. Maybe it is time that all of that is looked into. Kids riding equipment that is too big, too fast and too dangerous for their age group. Even too many gears can cause confusion I should imagine. Even in the case of farm equipment being moved short distances by young kids. A short distance could be a death or maiming sentence. It's been said that most vehicle accidents happen within a few blocks of home. I really don't know why people think it's ok for young kids to be using any farm equipment. There is embracing the farm life then there is being cavalier about it. I feel a great deal of sorrow for the three sisters lost on the family farm, but what were they doing playing on the back of a truck filled with grain. When that truck started to empty the grain acted like quick sand and just pulled them under. You would not let kids play on the railway tracks why would you let them play on a grain truck?. I know it was an accident but these girls should not have been in the vicinity of a heavy equipment area when work was being carried out. A family lost 3 girls and someone is no doubt carrying the guilt of their deaths for an accident that could have been prevented. Same as any other death of a child on equipment that is to big or powerful for their age group.
    Last edited by Gemini; 28-11-2015 at 09:50 PM.
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  47. #47

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    Gemini

    Any child lost is a tremendously tragic accident
    In the case of the three girls my point was it was a drowning, a moments inattention by the adults and could just as easy (and has) happened at a lake. Do we ban children from lakes?

    As far as the kids riding motorcycles, go karts and partaking in other highly physical sports...underage kids have also been killed in hockey and other sports...should they be banned?

    No two kids are the same so no one size fits all policy will ever fit or be fair to all children and their abilities. It is up to the parents to determine if they are interested, what their abilities are and if they are capable.

    I look back on life as a kid in the 60s and compare to the helicopter world of today and I feel sorry for kids. Some of it we have no choice...the world today is not as safe. In other cases we are becoming a nanny state

    The world is an exciting, spectacular and dangerous place, if we encase everyone to protect them from everything it will be a very sad and boring place. The world needs balance and blanket answers are not going to create it in my opinion.
    Last edited by Thomas Hinderks; 29-11-2015 at 12:09 AM.

  48. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Thoughtful post Alex.

    Seeing as you have been on some of the same sources I have and would agree the OHS isn't the big issue.

    Salaried employees likely are not a solution as they would need to designated as "professions" to allow the weird flexing of hours that need balanced out.

    The home/work/family side of things can be worked out. I haven't read the detail of Saskatchewan's legislation but am advised by family that live and farm there that it was resolved before it was ever put in place. Our government might have tried the same approach rather than wanting to ram it in and then modify, would have been co operative and much less drama.

    Pleasure to see someone actually looking at both sides and seeking solutions...good on ya
    Thanks Tom.

    The 'salary' distinction might have been a poor choice of words, but some provision or classification specific to agriculture should be explored. The title 'Temporary Domestic Worker' springs to mind, as that's essentially what the seasonal help really is. Either way, it's plain to see that there are potential solutions out there and that more meaningful consultation is required. On the other hand, it's also pretty obvious that some measures are long overdue, and that farmers and ranchers will have to loosen their grip on the picture of the idyllic family farm.
    Seems we agree...but the consultation should have happened before the legislation was thrown out there. Certainly would have eliminated (most) of the drama.

    When making change a little consideration and communication makes things a lot easier.

  49. #49

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    The usual nostalgia for the innocent days is worse than specious. As soon as anyone uses the phrase "nanny state", they can be permanently written off as a thinking human being.

    For what they conveniently ignore is that the society of their golden youth conveniently ignored the accidents that maimed and killed the people who are no longer around to represent themselves. Well, that isn't quite true: society did not really ignore them; it evolved and began to notice them.

    But the nostalgia-addled don't want that.

  50. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Gemini

    Any child lost is a tremendously tragic accident
    In the case of the three girls my point was it was a drowning, a moments inattention by the adults and could just as easy (and has) happened at a lake. Do we ban children from lakes?

    As far as the kids riding motorcycles, go karts and partaking in other highly physical sports...underage kids have also been killed in hockey and other sports...should they be banned?

    No two kids are the same so no one size fits all policy will ever fit or be fair to all children and their abilities. It is up to the parents to determine if they are interested, what their abilities are and if they are capable.

    I look back on life as a kid in the 60s and compare to the helicopter world of today and I feel sorry for kids. Some of it we have no choice...the world today is not as safe. In other cases we are becoming a nanny state

    The world is an exciting, spectacular and dangerous place, if we encase everyone to protect them from everything it will be a very sad and boring place. The world needs balance and blanket answers are not going to create it in my opinion.
    Definitely the loss of a child or adult by accident is a tragic thing. Losing an adult or a child by an accident that was preventable is even worse. Now, there are two things going on here. The first is losing kids by recreation vehicles. Meaning, dirt bikes, snowmobiles, ATV's etc. Kids getting into these particular accidents are usually out having fun. The second thing is working vehicles. What are kids doing driving around and playing around working vehicles. I'm sure we would not tell kids to go play in an open pit mine or a construction site where trucks are coming and going. Farms are work sites not recreation tracks. If you had a 10 year old would you let him/her drive to Mac's for milk because it's two blocks away and there are no corners to turn?. If you seen some young kids climb a fence and start playing where there were electrical transmitters would you do anything about it or would you think it were O.K. Now I'll admit I don't know if adults knew those young girls were playing in a grain truck so I don't know if they were told to get out. I don't know if the boy who was killed in Killam took it upon himself to drive that tractor. If none of these kids knew these incidents could result in death don't you think it's about time farm people get fully educated on it so they can pass the dangers on to future generations. That could also go for adults who put their kids on recreational vehicles that are to powerful for their age group.
    Last edited by Gemini; 29-11-2015 at 03:59 PM.
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    Is walking across a busy urban street any different then working around heavy farm machinery? I don't believe so personally i'm 10X more comfortable working and wandering around machinery then walking across a street with cars (most not paying any attention) driving by at 50-60km/h.

    Why will it be legal for urban parents to send their kid across the street to pick up eggs from a corner store, yet be illegal for a child to cross a operating farm yard and pick up eggs from the laying barn? is it the often imaginary lines painted on the roads?

    What level of risk are we comfortable with? Most urban people have not had any experience with farms or working around them, the people i just mentioned should have zero say on how much risk rural people are willing to tolerate, just as urban people should ignore advice from rural people saying its too dangerous to cross a street. the risk tolerances are different,

    why do we tolerate urban children using potentially dangerous heavy machinery like busses and LRT, yet some people here want them to be banned from using stuff they are familiar with such as Tractors, ATVs and Snowmobiles.

    I can tell you first hand when i was a young farm boy that the Big Scary City was crazy, you had hundreds of fast cars traveling right next to you on the sidewalk no more than 1m away (unthinkable on the farm), busses and people everywhere no one even looking your way, LRT with that scary looking (at first ) crack that you imagined you could fall into, heck my cousins playing street hockey, (on a street, with cars) or rollerblading down those same sidewalks where one false turn could send you careening off into traffic. (Heck many of my friends are still scared to ride elevators, LRT and some have never ridden a city bus) it was freakin crazy,

    Then i grew up, moved to the city for a decade and learned about urban life and learned to love urban life, and you know these things are NOT scary the city is a glorious place, with dangers we must recognize but tolerate, just as farm machinery, ATVs, firearms, riding in backs of trucks etc is normal, safe and tolerated by people who grew up or live in rural areas. Banning these kids from living life in a rural lifestyle is just straight up ignorant

  52. #52

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    Gemini

    As I mentioned earlier there are different kinds of farms ranging from small family hobby farms with little mechanization through to full blown corporate farms that in some ways look like an out and out industrial site. One I would happily let my kids roam, the other not a chance.
    Then there are the varying scales in between so there is no single answer.

    I had a much longer response to your above post but decided not to post it. Didn't want to waste your time.

    I picked this thread to re engage with C2E and after spending a little time back on here realize it's not the place I wish to spend my time.

    Thanks to all for the conversation

  53. #53

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    ^Not sure why you think it would be wasting my time if you had of posted a longer reply. I get it that farm life is unique and most city slickers are disconnected to the way their food gets to the plate. I also get that city folks would not hand over the keys of their vehicles to their 10 year olds. Now, if any farm folks can tell us why that is an acceptable practice on the farm it would be appreciated.

    I read this article http://albertalabour.blogspot.ca/201...-on-farms.html and here is a snip of it in part. It is a about a Saskatchewan farmer who lost 3 of his kids in separate farm accidents.

    Cliff Arnal says all his children were part of the farm from a young age — Sean swung from a Jolly Jumper attached to the roof of a combine as a baby. He started driving a tractor at 11. Blake was running a combine by the time he was eight, the same age Lyndon was when he first got behind the wheel of a semi-trailer.

    ____________________

    This is what city folks don't understand. Kids driving combines, tractors and semi-trailers as young as 8 years old. To us it's indefensible. I realize you don't have to participate in this discussion but by turning away from it it's not helping others understand the rational of why farm people think it's an acceptable thing. Each way of life has it's unique perspective be it fishermen, farmer, Bedouin, migrant farm work etc. We need an open dialogue so we can be educated into why things are done the way they are.
    Last edited by Gemini; 29-11-2015 at 12:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    Is walking across a busy urban street any different then working around heavy farm machinery? I don't believe so personally i'm 10X more comfortable working and wandering around machinery then walking across a street with cars (most not paying any attention) driving by at 50-60km/h.
    Yes, it is different. Working around farm machinery is far more dangerous by many magnitudes.

    Why will it be legal for urban parents to send their kid across the street to pick up eggs from a corner store, yet be illegal for a child to cross a operating farm yard and pick up eggs from the laying barn? is it the often imaginary lines painted on the roads?
    Because picking up eggs from the corner store is nowhere near as dangerous as working on a farm.

    What level of risk are we comfortable with? Most urban people have not had any experience with farms or working around them, the people i just mentioned should have zero say on how much risk rural people are willing to tolerate, just as urban people should ignore advice from rural people saying its too dangerous to cross a street. the risk tolerances are different,
    We are comfortable with low levels of risk. Children on farms face high levels of risk. Farms are far more dangerous than crossing a street.

    why do we tolerate urban children using potentially dangerous heavy machinery like busses and LRT, yet some people here want them to be banned from using stuff they are familiar with such as Tractors, ATVs and Snowmobiles.
    Using the bus or LRT is nowhere near as dangerous as farm equipment, ATVs, or snowmobiles. They aren't even comparable.

    I can tell you first hand when i was a young farm boy that the Big Scary City was crazy, you had hundreds of fast cars traveling right next to you on the sidewalk no more than 1m away (unthinkable on the farm), busses and people everywhere no one even looking your way, LRT with that scary looking (at first ) crack that you imagined you could fall into, heck my cousins playing street hockey, (on a street, with cars) or rollerblading down those same sidewalks where one false turn could send you careening off into traffic. (Heck many of my friends are still scared to ride elevators, LRT and some have never ridden a city bus) it was freakin crazy,

    Then i grew up, moved to the city for a decade and learned about urban life and learned to love urban life, and you know these things are NOT scary the city is a glorious place, with dangers we must recognize but tolerate, just as farm machinery, ATVs, firearms, riding in backs of trucks etc is normal, safe and tolerated by people who grew up or live in rural areas. Banning these kids from living life in a rural lifestyle is just straight up ignorant
    Urban life is nowhere near as dangerous as farm environments, or as using said recreational equipment. It is frankly absurd and ridiculous that you are attempting to draw a parallel here. There is no parallel.

    Children do not belong on farms. Just like children do not belong in factories, mines, or oil rigs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    I picked this thread to re engage with C2E and after spending a little time back on here realize it's not the place I wish to spend my time.

    Thanks to all for the conversation
    This is a shame. We need more reasonable people on this board. People who research and post well thought out responses and questions. I completely understand why you would decide not to engage here anymore though. Too many people who are perfectly fine with only seeing one side of the discussion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    I picked this thread to re engage with C2E and after spending a little time back on here realize it's not the place I wish to spend my time.

    Thanks to all for the conversation
    This is a shame. We need more reasonable people on this board. People who research and post well thought out responses and questions. I completely understand why you would decide not to engage here anymore though. Too many people who are perfectly fine with only seeing one side of the discussion.
    The 'too many people' on this thread are asking for the other side of the discussion but the 'other farm people' seem to be dropping out of it. It's O.K. you bleating away about others having a different opinion, but when they ask for someone else's perspective no one is there to answer. Your not helping, all you are doing is perpetuating what city folks think, that you cannot defend the indefensible. Give us compelling reasons why kids are allowed to be operating heavy farm equipment. We would ask the same of any parent (farm or not) why is it acceptable for kids to be using vehicles that are to powerful for their skill set. It's not an unreasonable question by any means.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  57. #57

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    I mean, yeah. Don't think it's unreasonable or closed-minded to want an answer to this:

    I've still yet to hear a convincing argument why farmers should be exempt from policy which affects family businesses in ANY other industry.

    * I'll edit to clarify no argument that doesn't consist of solely intangible, feel-good, 'way of life' arguments which could equally apply to any other family business.
    Support the mob or mysteriously disappear...

  58. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    I worked for our family welding and oilfield services company for a number of years. I would consider farm work to be potentially safer, more regular, and easier than what we were doing. I say potentially safer as work in the oilfield can be exceedingly dangerous but is now very well regulated.
    Interesting comment and comparison to different work environments. I think what seems to be forgotten in this is that children are working on farms but not in the oil patch though. You have/had a family oilfield business but did you have 8/10/12/14 year old kids working for you?.
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    I think one thing that farmers have to take a look at are all the shortcuts taken that circumvent safety. If there's an accident, can they get help quickly? Are there best practices that can be shared?
    "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    I picked this thread to re engage with C2E and after spending a little time back on here realize it's not the place I wish to spend my time.

    Thanks to all for the conversation
    This is a shame. We need more reasonable people on this board. People who research and post well thought out responses and questions. I completely understand why you would decide not to engage here anymore though. Too many people who are perfectly fine with only seeing one side of the discussion.
    So this thread that is quite polarizing but was conducted in a relatively civil and respectful manner is an example of why not to engage here?
    There are lots of threads that are filled with ridiculous personal based attacks that don't touch the subject at hand.
    This looks like walking away because you couldn't find support for your position not because this forum didn't act with a level of decorum for once. That bugs me, instead of quietly exiting you needed to mature some statement which in context I think it's total BS.
    Derail over. That's my statement.

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    I should have been more clear. I never said this thread was an example of too many single-viewpoint posters, but since after reading back I can absolutely see how it was taken that way. The last sentence of my post was more of a comment on the general board/other threads, which one can assume we're a contributing factor in Tom's decision.

    My apologies. This thread has been quite civil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Hinderks View Post
    Gemini

    As I mentioned earlier there are different kinds of farms ranging from small family hobby farms with little mechanization through to full blown corporate farms that in some ways look like an out and out industrial site. One I would happily let my kids roam, the other not a chance.
    Then there are the varying scales in between so there is no single answer.

    I had a much longer response to your above post but decided not to post it. Didn't want to waste your time.

    I picked this thread to re engage with C2E and after spending a little time back on here realize it's not the place I wish to spend my time.

    Thanks to all for the conversation
    Just when we though we had someone who would explain to us city folks in rational terms why children drive farm machinery, they bolt.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    I should have been more clear. I never said this thread was an example of too many single-viewpoint posters, but since after reading back I can absolutely see how it was taken that way. The last sentence of my post was more of a comment on the general board/other threads, which one can assume we're a contributing factor in Tom's decision.

    My apologies. This thread has been quite civil.
    I should have only quoted Tom only, it's his passing jab at C2E when posters had been very civil and highly rational in their arguments against his that annoyed me.
    Instead of encouraging the behavior and excellent debate, he tucked tail, made a lame duck excuse and took his ball and went home.

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    I will explain it, in the city children have approximately 4-5 modes of transportation, walking, biking, other active (skateboarding, rollarblading), Transit, and Motorized vehicle, because of this city people have the luxury to do things like not get drivers licenses, take the bus, walk. Even with parents giving them a ride (not good for an active population which we are trying to foster) generally your no more then 15 min from where your going.

    How many modes of transportation do rural farm people have? A grand total of 1 motorized vehicle. All of us grow up driving ATVs, dirt bikes etc, just to get around, if we were the lucky ones and had a parent who was not working stupid hours every day we may get a ride, and generally this was at least 30min one way. Basically farm kids know how to drive. A tractor is not really all that different then an ATV, when you have been trained since you could reach the gas pedal how to drive.. everything. You are comfortable with it. It is no different to us then you letting your kids walk to school across a busy street, the vast majority of kids can do it, some cannot, its up to parents to make that judgment call.

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    Yes, but the problem is that ATVs and farm equipment are extremely, extremely dangerous. While walking, biking, skateboarding, transit etc are not extremely dangerous.

    One is very dangerous for children. The other isn't. I get that in rural environments the norm is to use these things, but unfortunately that is a very bad idea and should change. Children don't belong on farms, because farms are extremely dangerous working environments. The story really ends there.

    Need I remind people that the same arguments you are all stating were once used to keep children in factories and mines? Farms are no different. They are dangerous working environments. That we have some misguided nostalgia about them changes nothing.

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    I love Lori Sigurdson's comment on Bill 6 ...
    http://alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=38...A29B581E073EAD

    Essentially she is saying "I heard you complain, and we will ignore you" and WTF was that 4H comment about?

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    I assume she was mentioning 4-H because it essentially teaches kids how to raise cows from calves to maturity, leading them, feeding them, probably being involved in branding, etc. and that entire program/tradition would go away if the regulations are as strict as we are being hold by the opposition.

    Another reason why everything cannot be regulated by one set of rules.

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    I suppose yah 4H might go away if these rules are implemented. And the January 1st deadline with so little consultation seems too rushed. Her statement reminded me of the Sidestep song from Best Little Wh*re House in Texas


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6STjaonPEWw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Turnbull View Post
    I worked for our family welding and oilfield services company for a number of years. I would consider farm work to be potentially safer, more regular, and easier than what we were doing. I say potentially safer as work in the oilfield can be exceedingly dangerous but is now very well regulated.
    Interesting comment and comparison to different work environments. I think what seems to be forgotten in this is that children are working on farms but not in the oil patch though. You have/had a family oilfield business but did you have 8/10/12/14 year old kids working for you?.
    No, because it was illegal although I do know those rules get fudged by family businesses all the time. The big difference is that if an incident occurs OH&S can investigate. They can not investigate in a farm incident.
    Last edited by Paul Turnbull; 30-11-2015 at 01:19 PM.

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    Having read a lot of different opinions the last few days my opinion at this time is these measures are needed in some form however this bill has been badly handled by the government. What should have happened was an announcement of a bill to be tabled at the spring session with real consultations happening over the winter. I think we'd have a very similar bill but with less outrage. The likely differences would have been around how to handle family and friends helping out on the farms.

    A note regarding the girls who died earlier this year: it was most definitely a workplace accident. They were playing on a truck while it was being loaded. They shouldn't have been on that truck. I remember when I was a kid on the farm and many of things we got into were not in any way safe because we didn't have the judgment to make safe decisions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    I will explain it, in the city children have approximately 4-5 modes of transportation, walking, biking, other active (skateboarding, rollarblading), Transit, and Motorized vehicle, because of this city people have the luxury to do things like not get drivers licenses, take the bus, walk. Even with parents giving them a ride (not good for an active population which we are trying to foster) generally your no more then 15 min from where your going.

    How many modes of transportation do rural farm people have? A grand total of 1 motorized vehicle. All of us grow up driving ATVs, dirt bikes etc, just to get around, if we were the lucky ones and had a parent who was not working stupid hours every day we may get a ride, and generally this was at least 30min one way. Basically farm kids know how to drive. A tractor is not really all that different then an ATV, when you have been trained since you could reach the gas pedal how to drive.. everything. You are comfortable with it. It is no different to us then you letting your kids walk to school across a busy street, the vast majority of kids can do it, some cannot, its up to parents to make that judgment call.
    I can understand that rural life is somewhat restrictive for kids without a drivers licence when it comes to wanting to get around. Especially teens. If quads, snowmobiles etc are all there are they can be used by kids old enough and mature to use them, as long as they are not going on roadways. Farm equipment is a whole different kettle of fish. We know kids in the city have to navigate bus terminals, LRT stations and roads but the big difference is they are not operating the equipment, they are riding in it. The reason they are not operating it is that no jurisdiction would allow them to do so and I imagine no parent or guardian making a judgement call would say yes.
    Farm equipment is designed for adults in mind not 8/10/12/14 year olds. Sure the farm is wide open spaces and if a piece of farm equipment goes out of control it's not likely to hit another vehicle. People might think what's the worse that can happen to a young kid. Well, death or disability it seems. A very high price for accidents that are preventable.
    I know farm people love there kids as much as the next person but this gung-ho Junior is driving a combine /semi/tractor/thrasher at 10 is sheer folly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaerdo View Post
    Yes, but the problem is that ATVs and farm equipment are extremely, extremely dangerous. While walking, biking, skateboarding, transit etc are not extremely dangerous.

    One is very dangerous for children. The other isn't. I get that in rural environments the norm is to use these things, but unfortunately that is a very bad idea and should change. Children don't belong on farms, because farms are extremely dangerous working environments. The story really ends there.

    Need I remind people that the same arguments you are all stating were once used to keep children in factories and mines? Farms are no different. They are dangerous working environments. That we have some misguided nostalgia about them changes nothing.
    By the same logic - children should never be allowed in an automobile PERIOD!
    Multiple times as many children are killed that way compared to working on a farm every single year in Canada.

  73. #73

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    ^Being a passenger in any form of transportation is far different from being the operator of it. By some peoples logic (not mine) if an 8 year old is safe enough to drive a tractor/thrasher/semi/fork lift he should be good and ready to fly a Boeing 747 at 14 and lead a rocket ship to mars at 18.
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    Forgive me if i'm wrong, but i'm sensing a generalization.
    Do you think some farmers think that way? or the population in general?

    This is a sincere question to make sure i'm clear on your post.

  75. #75

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    I think some farmers do get that giving young kids keys to operate heavy machinery is wrong, some farmers seem to think it's O.K. I think the majority of the none farming community think it is appalling. If a farmer thinks an eight year old is capable enough and mature enough to drive this equipment I'm sure he holds the mindset that the same kid would advance to bigger and better equipment at the same speed. Most of us cannot get our heads around the fact that anyone would knowingly let a kid of eight operate heavy machinery. I can see farmers gradually easing kids into farming. Feed the cattle, get the eggs, milk the cows. Operating machines that are built for adults in mind is not a gradually easing, It's throwing them into the deep end right away. I hate nanny states as much as anyone else but I think this issue definitely needs looking into.
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    Regardless, ramming a bill down the farmer's throats with very little consultation isn't the best way to proceed. A family farm has different requirements than a large corporate feed lot.

  77. #77

    Default Contentious farm bill catches Alberta NDP in rural brushfire

    Not everybody is convinced, of course, but a surprising calm has settled over the land. The issue that was supposed to blow the lid off the province shows the makings of a new Alberta consensus.

    The farm bill, by contrast, seemed minor — just the sensible righting of a century-old provincial lag in farm worker rights, obviously needed and easy to do.

    The first mistake, though, was to actually treat the bill as minor.

    Consultations were hardly extensive. When the rollout came, there was no Murray Edwards of farming to stand in solidarity with Notley and her team. The two ministers responsible, Lori Sigurdson and O’Neil Carlier, are the weakest communicators in cabinet.

    There was one vivid moment last Friday when a demonstrating farmer asked Sigurdson how much the bill would cost him. She said he should check the government website. He said she should know that stuff — and he was right.
    http://news.nationalpost.com/full-co...ural-brushfire

  78. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    I think some farmers do get that giving young kids keys to operate heavy machinery is wrong, some farmers seem to think it's O.K.
    I don't think this Bill is going to change that, I don't think any law would, parents will do what they feel is fine for their kids, whether we all think its right or wrong, whether its legal or not. The big concern with the bill it seems, is that it doesn't take into account the realities of family farms, and imposes a bunch of paper shuffling that achieves nothing, but to employ a few more government workers.

  79. #79

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    If a non farm parent gave a kid of 10 the keys to a vehicle and sent them to Safeway for milk and the kid got in a car accident I am sure the parent(s) would at the least be charged with child endangerment. Even if the kid did not get into an accident I'm pretty sure the police & social services would be around assessing the family dynamic. Not sure why farm families should be the exception rather than the rule on young kids operating any type of vehicle. All kids are equal and all kids need to be protected from dangers that can cause avoidable accidents. No free passes for farm families.
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  80. #80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    If a non farm parent gave a kid of 10 the keys to a vehicle and sent them to Safeway for milk and the kid got in a car accident I am sure the parent(s) would at the least be charged with child endangerment. Even if the kid did not get into an accident I'm pretty sure the police & social services would be around assessing the family dynamic. Not sure why farm families should be the exception rather than the rule on young kids operating any type of vehicle. All kids are equal and all kids need to be protected from dangers that can cause avoidable accidents. No free passes for farm families.
    Kids are not equal, you have one group who has grown up driving everything from ATVs to Tractors to dirt bikes,... and you have a second group that many young people dont even start driving anything until they are 14 or even nowadays 20..

    Coddling and bubbling kids is causing so many problems in our society, and this heavy handed paternalistic helicopter parenting being proposed is a huge part of the problem.

    Look at some places where a 7 and a 5 year old get the police called on them and their parents threatened with child endangerment for letting them walk home from school a couple blocks.. its a sign of a sick society, and frankly Farm people do not want their kids to catch the sickness.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    If a non farm parent gave a kid of 10 the keys to a vehicle and sent them to Safeway for milk and the kid got in a car accident I am sure the parent(s) would at the least be charged with child endangerment. Even if the kid did not get into an accident I'm pretty sure the police & social services would be around assessing the family dynamic. Not sure why farm families should be the exception rather than the rule on young kids operating any type of vehicle. All kids are equal and all kids need to be protected from dangers that can cause avoidable accidents. No free passes for farm families.
    Kids are not equal, you have one group who has grown up driving everything from ATVs to Tractors to dirt bikes,... and you have a second group that many young people dont even start driving anything until they are 14 or even nowadays 20..

    Coddling and bubbling kids is causing so many problems in our society, and this heavy handed paternalistic helicopter parenting being proposed is a huge part of the problem.

    Look at some places where a 7 and a 5 year old get the police called on them and their parents threatened with child endangerment for letting them walk home from school a couple blocks.. its a sign of a sick society, and frankly Farm people do not want their kids to catch the sickness.
    I agree with some of this, but too much hyperbole.
    It does do a great job of country vs. City divide which I never understood. The country lifestyle or whatever you want to call it isn't free and clear of all sorts of silly archaic or dumb ideas.
    Maybe that isn't what you meant but you crafted a big divide of right vs. Wrong, country vs. City.

  82. #82

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    ^^Kids are not equal because some drive ATV's and some don't. Well, I guess that's a new take on things. To you it's called coddling 8 to 12 year old kids if you don't let them drive a semi/thrasher/tractor/or truck or your not a good parent if you don't let your kid operate equipment that is way to big or beyond his/her maturity to drive. Farm boys are big strong boys with bigger balls then city boys. There parents don't want them to catch the city boys sickness.

    Your posts are ridiculous.
    Last edited by Gemini; 01-12-2015 at 10:11 PM.
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  83. #83

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    Country kids are not better, just different. Which is why i would not trust an average acreage child with heavy equipment either. (they generally dont have the experience)

    The children are trained and raised differently. If you take a low income area child (dont know what else to call them) generally you see these kids travel many blocks without parent supervision, play on streets etc. I would NOT trust a farm child with some of this, they most likely would have no idea what to do in some circumstances, they would have little experience with it. Urban children are much more socially active and have more experience with that stuff.

    But just as many of you don't want the government to tell you that letting your child walk a couple blocks to school is illegal, farm people dont want the government to tell them that heavy equipment is off limits.

    If the issue is farm safety then how about we bring back farm safety to our schools?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    Coddling and bubbling kids is causing so many problems in our society, and this heavy handed paternalistic helicopter parenting being proposed is a huge part of the problem.

    Look at some places where a 7 and a 5 year old get the police called on them and their parents threatened with child endangerment for letting them walk home from school a couple blocks.. its a sign of a sick society, and frankly Farm people do not want their kids to catch the sickness.
    I agree to a large extent that helicopter parenting has gotten out of hand, but statistically the facts are pretty conclusive: in the past 50-100 years the death rate of children from accidents and injuries has fallen massively. And that's a good thing.

    http://www.nber.org/digest/dec99/glied.html

    Among children under five, deaths from these causes dropped from 44 per 100,000 children in 1960 to 18.6 per 100,000 in 1990. Among children five to nine, the mortality rate from injury or accidents fell from 19.6 to 9.8 per 100,000.

  85. #85

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    ^I think that's mostly from having better safety standards, like child seats and cribs that don't strangle toddlers, and no obviously dangerous playground equipment. I don't think its from parents hovering over there kids.

    I think the kid issue is a bit of a side issue re this act though, its more about whether it makes sense to impose this amount of paperwork on farmers, and will that actually make any difference to what they do day to day? I'm willing to bet it will make zero difference - at some point, these things, while noble in nature, just create red tape for the sake of red tape.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^I think that's mostly from having better safety standards, like child seats and cribs that don't strangle toddlers, and no obviously dangerous playground equipment. I don't think its from parents hovering over there kids.

    I think the kid issue is a bit of a side issue re this act though, its more about whether it makes sense to impose this amount of paperwork on farmers, and will that actually make any difference to what they do day to day? I'm willing to bet it will make zero difference - at some point, these things, while noble in nature, just create red tape for the sake of red tape.
    Roughly the same number of farm workers are killed every year, at around 10-20, as are killed in every other industry and occupation in the province combined. You don't think there's room for improvement there? Given the massive difference in man-hours worked, it would appear that the risk of death in farming is somewhere around 10-100 times higher than it is in the wider economy. That's indefensible.

    Granted, real numbers are hard to come by, since no one's mandated to keep track of them.

  87. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Given the massive difference in man-hours worked, it would appear that the risk of death in farming is somewhere around 10-100 times higher than it is in the wider economy. That's indefensible.
    Maybe, but where is the evidence this Bill will make any significant difference, versus running some education / advertising for family farmers on safety? Its just not good bang for buck, and its simply unreasonable to expect a busy farmer who already has a ton of paperwork to work through for their small family farm, to now have to deal with a ton more. If anything, that will give them less time to exercise safe practices, not more.

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    Not doing something because it will add some paperwork is not a valid enough reason for me.

  89. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Not doing something because it will add some paperwork is not a valid enough reason for me.
    I guess that's a difference between you and me, I think if there is a way to achieve the same, or even a better, outcome, without the paperwork, that's a better approach. It seems the NDP, to their credit, realize they have mis-steped here, and are reconsidering.

  90. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Not doing something because it will add some paperwork is not a valid enough reason for me.
    I agree to an extent, however look at the mess we see with Police spending umteen hours a day doing paperwork, its not very efficient in the least.

  91. #91

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    Everything I've heard on the radio about this so far has been from the farmer's perspective with mention of the low incident rate of injuries etc. That's all well and good but like everything in life, people quoting averages and looking at thing from a top down perspective are pretty ignorant, uninformed and narrow minded.

    Increased paperwork, poorer business performance, impacts on family lifestyle, more bureaucracy are all important from the farmer's perspective, but in the scheme of things, what really matters is what happens to those that are actually injured. If you have your arm ripped off in a farm accident, you don't really care that you may have been a rare case of injury in the relatively safe world of farming.

    So maybe I've missed something in the posts above but, say you are a hired farm worker and you get your arm ripped up, ripped right off, or lose an eye, or suffer a permanent back injury while working a farm or ranch, or whatever. What happens to you now? What will happen under the new law?


    This is outdated but is well written:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...fety-1.3345283


    Much more extensive article below, well worth reading, and it predates the emotion arising from the recent child deaths:


    Alberta Views – Perspectives On A Province | The Most Unsafe Workplace in Alberta

    By BOB BARNETSON

    Chandler was one of Alberta’s 20 farm fatalities in 2006, 16 of which were work-related. Sixteen work-related fatalities is a pretty average year on Alberta farms. While such deaths are tragic, it’s the non-fatal farm injuries that are the real story. Alberta doesn’t track non-fatal farm-work-related injuries, but a reasonable estimate (based on injuries in other, less dangerous occupations) is about 5,000 serious injuries (whereby workers can’t do some or all of their job the next day) and 50,000 minor injuries on farms each year.


    ...


    For example, Alberta excludes farm workers from employment standards such as minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay, rest periods and child-labour prohibitions. Farm workers are also precluded from unionizing, and farm employers do not have to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Workers such as Thomas, whose employers aren’t insured, can only hope for compensation if they sue their employers—a slow, expensive and risky proposition.
    ...

    Governments across the country regulate all manner of farms successfully, so why can’t Alberta? In fact, Alberta does regulate some (relatively safe) farms such as greenhouses, mushroom farms and nurseries, some of which are mixed-use worksites. Yet Alberta doesn’t regulate many relatively dangerous farming operations, such as feedlots—operations that are often single-use locations. This suggests the whole “unique worksites” angle is a red herring
    ...

    Recent consultations have yielded little progress. The government appointed a 15-member Farm Safety Advisory Council in 2011. The council is dominated by agricultural producers, and its inaugural report sat under wraps for more than a year. Finally released in March this year, the report recommends the status quo.


    Bob Barnetson is an associate professor of labour relations at Athabasca University. He lives in Edmonton.

    Published in Vol 16, No 4, May 2013, pgs 28-32.

    ...

    https://albertaviews.ab.ca/2013/04/2...afe-workplace/
    Last edited by KC; 02-12-2015 at 10:55 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Given the massive difference in man-hours worked, it would appear that the risk of death in farming is somewhere around 10-100 times higher than it is in the wider economy. That's indefensible.
    Maybe, but where is the evidence this Bill will make any significant difference, versus running some education / advertising for family farmers on safety? Its just not good bang for buck, and its simply unreasonable to expect a busy farmer who already has a ton of paperwork to work through for their small family farm, to now have to deal with a ton more. If anything, that will give them less time to exercise safe practices, not more.
    The evidence would be that enforced OH&S standards have improved safety in every other industry.

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    So Paul Brandt has posted a letter to Premier Notley which can be found here https://www.facebook.com/PaulBrandtOfficial/?fref=ts

    My take?

    He makes a lot of good points about how the people most affected don't feel like their voices are being heard or that they don't feel confident in the government's abilities and that they'd like to be more involved in the creation and execution of the bill.

    You know who else probably wasn't super confident in the abilities/intentions of the government when their sector had all kinds of regulations imposed on it? Every single employee of every single industry that any government has ever involved itself in. The difference here is that there is a grey area between work and life that farming falls into. That's it.

    Regardless, between this letter and the open letter that Premier Notley wrote earlier today, I think we're making progress and some compromises will be found.

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    Piece from Bob Barnetson at the Parkland Institute. The big takeaway is the protest is rooted more in the historical decline of the family farm than the anything particular in the bill. This jibes with the discussions I've been involved in.

    Bill 6 will right a long-standing wrong

    That most small farmers won’t be affected by Bill 6 seems to be lost amid this outrage. The backlash against Bill 6 isn’t a rational response to a new law; it is an emotional reaction to the slow decline of a way of life.

    And right-wing politicians are cravenly stoking this emotional backlash. In Alberta, the right wing has historically traded favourable rural policies (e.g., farm subsidies, infrastructure) for votes. Denying farm workers basic rights was a part of this quid pro quo: basically the former Conservative government traded farm workers’ lives for rural votes.
    I definitely agree here. The most disappointing thing I've seen is the WRP stoking the rage rather than leading a way to compromise.

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  95. #95

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    Are Hutterite/Mennonite Colonies included in this Bill. Are Hutterite/Mennonite Colonies family farms or commercial farms or a combination of both. It seems these colonies rely on a lot of kids help. It's basically cheap labour for them in the guise of 'family farming'.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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    I think it would only apply to them if they hired folk from outside the colony. Otherwise it's family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EveB View Post
    I think it would only apply to them if they hired folk from outside the colony. Otherwise it's family.
    This my understanding as well although there was rumour of an explicit exclusion. Personally I think it'll be a de facto exclusion based on nobody being actually employed.

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  98. #98

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    Interesting article about Hutterite Colonies in Alberta a couple of paragraphs down the page. Seems some of them are big operations but they still see them as family farms but in the way that there are lots of Hutterite families living on them. Not just one family.

    https://www.ualberta.ca/~german/Albe...Hutterites.htm
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    I did a tour of a Hutterite colony once along with a PhD student. They really are family operations at least at the time (1970s). Cooking and laundry are done communally in a huge kitchen and the biggest clothes dryers I've seen before or since.

  100. #100

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    It seems every member of the colony is utilized. Unfortunately some of the young ones seem to be given jobs beyond their capabilities. Wonder if their are stats done on how many farm workers are injured on and off colonies.
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