Shandele Battle and her husband Ted of Delia, Alberta started a petition against applying health and safety laws to farms and ranches.

Shandele Battle and her husband Ted of Delia, Alberta started a petition against applying health and safety laws to farms and ranches.
Photo Credit: Jill Clayholt Photography

Protests against a farm safety law in Alberta

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The western province of Alberta is the only one that exempts farms and ranches from occupational health and safety laws, and many people would prefer it stay that way. Alberta is farm and ranch country, and traditionally a supporter of small government. After decades of voting Conservative, in May, residents voted in the left-leaning New Democratic Party, and it is proposing changes.

Three sisters died in October 2015 after being smothered in grain on the family farm near Withrow, Alberta. Farm deaths appear to be increasing in Alberta.
Three sisters died in October 2015 after being smothered in grain on the family farm near Withrow, Alberta. Farm deaths appear to be increasing in Alberta. © Facebook

Farm deaths have increased

Proposed legislation would allow investigators to review serious injuries or deaths on the commercial portion of farms. It would also provide compensation for workers injured on farms or ranches. This comes after 25 people died in farm-related accidents in 2014. That was nine more than in 2013.

Protest rally is planned

More than 9,000 people have signed a petition against the legislation and a Facebook page has more than 22,000 members who are opposed to it. Opponents are planning a demonstration before the Alberta legislature building on Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. Many are concerned that extra costs and fines brought on by the law could destroy family farms.

The government is holding information session to explain how the legislation will change things.

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