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Agriculture

Kenney Government repeals controversial Agriculture bill introduced by former NDP government

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Minister Dreeshen with family members and workers at Tri M Farms.

From the Province of Alberta

Promise made, promise kept: Repeal Bill 6

The Farm Freedom and Safety Act has been introduced to bring forward changes to support the unique nature of the farm and ranch business.

The proposed legislation fulfils the government’s commitment to consult with farmers and ranchers to build farm workplace legislation that works for them. The government is committed to restoring balance, fairness and common sense to the regulation of Alberta’s agriculture sector by repealing and replacing the previous government’s failed Bill 6 legislation.

“We promised Albertans we would consult first and legislate second – and that’s exactly what we did. We’ve taken this feedback and built common-sense farm workplace legislation that works for people, not against them.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

“Farmers asked for these changes to give us the flexibility to run our businesses and build a program collectively that works for everybody. This government has really listened to and responded to our concerns. Modern farms are highly safety-conscious operations and we take care of our farm workers like they are family.”

Rhonda Mulligan, Tri M Farms

“In terms of the overall shape of the industry, consultation has been a critical feature of the new government for Bill 6 and the Farm Freedom and Safety Act. We didn’t have that under the previous government in 2015 when those changes were rolled out. We are very encouraged and optimistic about the future shape of farm safety legislation in Alberta.”

Tom Steve, Alberta Wheat and Barley Commission/general manager of Alberta Barley

“The greenhouse industry is very thankful to the Government of Alberta and, in particular, to Minister Dreeshen for his support in recognizing greenhouses as farms. Being excluded from the definition of farms under the Employment Standards Code was a huge challenge for our industry and we are grateful that this has been rectified in the Farm Freedom and Safety Act.”

Albert Cramer, president, Alberta Greenhouse Growers Association

Grassroots conversations, industry meetings, engagement sessions and an online survey were just some of the ways Alberta’s farmers and ranchers gave their input on practical farm workplace rules.

Consultations

  • From July 25 to Aug. 30, 25 engagement sessions on farm workplace legislation were held across the province.
  • The public survey ran from July 12 to Aug. 31, with more than 1,200 completed submissions.

The new legislation addresses employment standards, workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, labour relations laws and how they apply on farms and ranches.

Farm Freedom and Safety Act highlights

  • Allows employers to have choice when it comes to workplace insurance.
  • Protects family farms from legislated and regulatory cost increases.
  • Ensures basic safety standards on all farms.
  • Recognizes that a farm is unlike other businesses, and that farmers and ranchers require flexibility in meeting labour and employment standards.
  • Delivers on government’s commitment to repeal the damaging policies of the previous government to ensure sustainable farms and help get Albertans back to work. Reinstates the farm and ranch sector exemption from the Labour Relations Code.
  • Includes nursery, greenhouse, mushroom and sod operations in the farm and ranch employment standards exemptions.
  • Minimizes red tape and reduces the regulatory burden on farmers and ranchers.

Agriculture

How would you like it if someone came on to your land to build a pipeline?

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How would you like it if someone came on to your land to build a pipeline?

This is one of the questions you’ve no doubt heard in the media lately.  A common question from protestors and their supporters. It’s been posed to media reporters asking protestors why they’re trying to shut down Canada.  It’s been used as a headline for editorials in big newspapers.  If you live in a city or even a small community you’ve never had to deal with a company that wants to build a pipeline on your property.  That seems to make this question a good one.

However I come from a farming community and it occurred to me that I might just know some people who’ve had experience with pipeline companies.   So I decided to message a friend of mine.  He used to be a pretty good hockey player when we were growing up.  He played with a temper.   Years may have passed but I know he’s definitely no push over.  Devon is not the kind of guy who’d let anyone walk all over him.  Even a big pipeline company.

Turns out Devon actually has lots of experience with pipelines.  When he moved onto his acreage 20 years ago there were already 5 lines running under it.  2 more lines have been buried since.  The last one came through just last year.  If you look at the first map you can see a place called Herschel.   Herschel is Devon’s territory.   The map shows where Enbridge Line 3 Replacement cut through his property just last year.  The second map shows just how many lines are following that same route.

When I discovered a new line had been put down in the last year I thought he’d have some fresh memories of how that affected his life.  It was my chance to ask someone who actually knows “How would you like it if someone came on your land to build a pipeline?”

Me: “What happens during construction?”

Devon: “The only inconvenience during pipeline construction for us has been delays on the roads. They haven’t affected our home lives at all.”

Me: “What about animals?  How long before things get back to normal in their world?”

Devon: “Wildlife doesn’t seem bothered at all.”   Then he asked me “What’s normal?” – and he sent me a video taken right in his yard last summer.  

Me: “OK.  The animals appear not to mind.  Does it affect the quality of your land?”

Devon: “We don’t farm the affected land, but Enbridge recovers the top soil and replants whatever vegetation you want.  In our case, grass.”

Me: “What would happen to you if there was a spill on your property?”

Devon: “We have never had a spill, or know of anyone that has.  They have given us contact information, and instruction if we ever encounter what we feel may be a spill.  Several times a week they fly (over) the pipeline inspecting it.

Me: “Are you fairly compensated?”

Devon: “We have been treated very fairly by Enbridge.”

I have to admit I was hoping for even a tiny bit of drama in this back and forth conversation.   Just like you would with any conversation.  So I put my reporter skills to work and decided to finish by asking an “emotional” question.  Certainly there has to be even a little bit of anxiety over having a pipeline carrying flammable material close to your home… right under your own property.  Everyone knows there have been accidents.  So the natural question is..

Me: “Wouldn’t you rather there were no pipelines under your land and close to your home?

Devon: “I was actually disappointed when they told us the line 6 replacement was being routed around our acreage because they felt it would be too close to the house.  I actually have never thought about whether I would rather live where there’s no pipelines.  They’ve never been an issue.”

If I had to conclude this and I do, I would say that it would seem my friend Devon is one of the vast majority of people who pay some type of price for the conveniences of modern society.  In his case it’s doesn’t seem the price is very high.  Maybe he thinks the compensation is actually worth it.  No.  He’s never experienced an accident.  He doesn’t know of anyone who even knows anyone who has.  Like the rest of us, he only knows they’ve happened because he pays attention to the news.  The only real difference is Devon actually has a half dozen pipelines running across his property.  As you can see from the second map above, the energy running through them keeps people in the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada, warm in their homes and mobile in their vehicles.

Here’s what pipelines look like for the vast majority of those who have to live with them.  In Devon’s case, 20 years of living with pipelines and zero problems.  He’s not going to claim nothing could ever happen.  All he can say is that nothing has ever happened.

 

Read more on Todayville.com

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Agriculture

Red Deer based Peavey Industries buys Ace hardware, Ace Country & Garden, and Ace Building Centre from Rona

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From Peavey Industries LP

Peavey Industries LP acquires the main license of Ace brand in Canada.

Peavey Industries LP, Canada’s largest farm and ranch retailer is proud to announce the acquisition of Ace Canada and is very pleased to welcome the “helpful hardware” chain to our retail family.

The Ace Canada brand consists of a total 107 stores under Ace Hardware, Ace Country & Garden or Ace Building Centre banners. These stores will all continue to operate under their existing banners and as such, customers can expect to see minimal changes to the high standard of service and products they have come to expect.

Ace International is working closely with Peavey Industries to ensure the least amount of disruption to the Ace dealer network throughout this transition. Jay Heubner, Ace International President and GM, had this to say in response to the Peavey Industries purchase:
“This is an exciting new chapter for Ace International and the Canadian Ace Hardware retailers. We are thrilled to team up with Peavey Industries, an organization that shares our values and has a strong commitment to service and community. We’re confident Peavey Industries will provide the independent Ace retailers the best service and support to help them succeed and ensure the continued growth of the Ace Hardware brand in Canada.” – Jay Heubner

Supporting three retail brands with a total of 92 stores across five provinces, Peavey Industries LP’s corporate head office is located in Red Deer, Alberta with a regional office in London, Ontario. Both locations house large-scale distribution centres executing west and east fulfillment. Proudly 100% Canadian and employee owned, Peavey Industries retail outlets have been serving their loyal customers since 1967.

As a former corporate culture award recipient, Peavey Industries views the responsibility, consideration and respect afforded to both our staff and customers as our highest priority. We are dedicated to serving our rural customers and communities across Canada and, in line with our national growth strategy, this acquisition helps us to expand our network.

Peavey Industries understands Canadian communities; we look forward to building on our strong community relationships and service to our loyal customers.

President and CEO, Doug Anderson feels Ace Canada’s aspirations parallel ours:
“Ace Canada is a natural extension to Peavey Industries for a number of reasons: we relate strongly to their dedication to ‘local and loyal’, we appreciate their commitment to providing value to customers and we mirror their devotion to excellence in customer service. Also, it is a great opportunity for us to serve new markets with the addition of this great brand.” – Doug Anderson

 

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march, 2020

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