A new poll suggests most Albertans are opposed to the NDP government’s proposed legislation aimed at protecting farm workers. 

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On Saturday, figures were released from a new poll by Mainstreet/Postmedia that show 60 per cent of Albertans are against Bill 6. “We’ve seen many protests over the last few weeks and rightly or wrongly, Albertans are responding to the message that Bill 6 unfairly targets family farms and small business with red-tape,” said Quito Maggi, president of Mainstreet Research. On Thursday, about 1,500 people gathered at the Alberta Legislature to voice their anger over the bill. It was the third such protest in less than a week.  Opposition to Bill 6 is concentrated in rural Alberta: 66 per cent of respondents outside of Calgary and Edmonton either strongly disapproved or somewhat disapproved of the bill. The survey also shows the controversial bill is seeing the least opposition in the city of Edmonton, where 50 per cent of respondents said they support the proposed farm safety law. 

A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll suggests the majority of Albertans are opposed to Bill 6.

Mainstreet/Postmedia

 The opposition Wildrose Party, whose support has traditionally been rooted in rural parts of the province, has been vocal in its opposition to Bill 6, suggesting it wouldn’t distinguish between small family farms and large corporate operations. The party also said Albertans weren’t properly consulted on the legislation. On Saturday, Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt is hosting a town hall in Bassano to discuss the issue with farmers and ranchers. The numbers also appear to show older Albertans are more likely to support the legislation than younger Albertans. Of those polled, 64 per cent of respondents aged 18 to 34 said they disapproved of Bill 6 while only 49 per cent of respondents aged 65 and older said they disapproved. Most respondents were opposed to applying the new legislation to family members working on the farm but the majority of those polled did support applying the proposed law to paid farm workers. In the face of mounting opposition, Premier Rachel Notley penned an open letter on social media in an effort to address concerns over the proposed legislation. She said Bill 6 is aimed at preventing workplace deaths and injuries on farms and to provide farmworkers with the same rights as other workers in Alberta. The poll gathered opinions from 3,017 Albertans and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.78 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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