GFM Network News


Summer jobs program to pay entire wage

The federal government has made changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program for businesses with fewer than 50 employees delivering essential services. Businesses will have 100 per cent of their employees’ salaries covered by the federal government (up from the previous 50 per cent), and employees can be covered until February 2021. As well, the […] Read more

Enrolment in Lakeland College’s agriculture sciences program has almost tripled since Josie Van Lent (r) (seen here with former student Sheena McKelvie) became dean in 2007.


The jobs are waiting for ag program graduates

Enrolment has soared in the past decade — and so has the number of unfilled jobs in the agriculture sector

A career in agriculture just wasn’t an option for Julie Mitchell when she was growing up. Or at least that’s what she thought. “I was really passionate about agriculture, but I didn’t think you could have a career in ag beyond being a farmer,” said Mitchell, who grew up on a cattle operation in Manitoba. […] Read more


Online tools for reducing worker turnover

Calculator estimates costs of replacing employees while benchmarking tool allows for comparisons by sector or province

Did you know that the cost of replacing a single worker can be as much as 150 per cent of their annual salary? Do you know what your turnover costs are? ‘Turnover’ is the rate at which workers leave and are replaced on your farm, something that can have a major impact on productivity and […] Read more

Concerns about unions and how families would be affected sparked Bill 6 protests, like this one at the legislature, across Alberta a year ago. A working group has unanimously recommended families be largely exempt, but the labour relations committee was deeply split over the right to unionize and strike.

Battle lines drawn on allowing farm workers to unionize

There’s agreement on issues such as overtime and exempting families from the labour code, but prospect of unionization is a flashpoint

Producers remain at odds with the NDP government’s plan to include the right to unionize — and to go on strike — as part of its workplace safety legislation for farms and ranches. “In some areas, we did see some movement and we did get to resolutions,” said Gord Winkel, interim executive director of the […] Read more


AgCoalition hosting workplace safety meetings for farmers

Alliance of farm groups wants the views of farmers and their employees to be heard by the province


The AgCoalition will host three meetings across Alberta this month to engage farmers, ranchers and their employees on farm and ranch safety-related subject matter. The meetings are intended to gather input and strengthen the producer voice in preparation for the provincial government’s consultation sessions. The province has set up six groups to advise it on […] Read more

Now that Bill 6 has become law, the focus has to be on creating practical regulations that work on farms, says Alberta Barley.

Bill 6 is law — now we need a plan to move forward

Designing practical workplace rules is a complex process that will take time, 
but farm groups will advocate on behalf of their members

Alberta Barley is very disappointed that the Government of Alberta chose to force the passage of the amended Bill 6 through the legislature on Dec. 10. The voice of farmers was consistent regarding the lack of consultation and especially the lack of clarity about how the bill would impact farmers and ranchers across the province. […] Read more


About 200 people gathered at the legislature on Nov. 27 to voice their displeasure with Bill 6. A second demonstration three days later drew 1,000 people and prompted the NDP government to amend the bill to make it clear that workplace safety regulations would only apply to paid employees, not family or neighbours.

Big Blow-Up: Workplace legislation has farmers up in arms

Skimpy consultation and lack of answers upsets Alberta farmers, 
even those who say the status quo wasn’t acceptable

The NDP government said it just wanted to make farms more safe, but instead ignited a firestorm. But faced with massive outrage and demonstrations from farmers and ranchers to Bill 6, the government backtracked and apologized for what it called “miscommunication.” “Myself, MLAs, ministers, and our premier have all heard from farmers and ranchers who […] Read more