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A new research report published by the Parkland Institute argues that a crisis is brewing in rural Alberta. An influx of investors buying farmland is making land more expensive as farmers struggle, tenant farming becomes prevalent, and very few can afford to get started as new farmers.
Investors, Lenders, Farmers, and the Future of Farmland in Alberta
Alberta has over 50 million acres of farmland. What happens on this land? Who owns it? Who can access it? Most of all, why are land relations structured the way they are? And what are the current impacts of these land tenure dynamics and their implications for our future?
The answers to these questions are political, and we urgently need to face them together. This report draws on publicly-funded qualitative research conducted from 2019 to 2020. It seeks to contribute to a vibrant path forward for rural Alberta.
Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson analyzes the UCP's Bill 26, which repeals many of the gains Alberta farm workers gained with 2015’s Bill 6, adds new exclusions, and strips agricultural workers of many basic employment rights.
Athabasca University labour relations professor Bob Barnetson analyzes the UCP pledge to repeal 2015’s Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act (more commonly referred to as Bill 6).
Bob Barnetson looks at what WCB data reveals about the impact of mandatory workers’ compensation coverage for paid, non-family farm workers in Alberta.
While the government's new Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) rules affecting paid, non-family farm workers in Alberta represent a significant win for farm worker safety, a number of troubling exceptions will continue to heighten the risk of farm worker injury and death.
A 2015 report prepared for the former Progressive Conservative government and released after a freedom of information request reveals the extent of farm worker injuries and a lack of adequate insurance coverage for paid employees on farms.
Bill 6 (the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act) extends basic occupational health and safety rights to paid Alberta farm workers, but recommendations from a government-appointed working group on employment standards would weaken those basic protections.
The Alberta government's Bill 6, the Enhanced Protection for Farm and Ranch Workers Act, has become the most contentious legislation of NDP government's short tenure. Athabasca University professor of labour relations Bob Barnetson looks at five of the main arguments against the bill.