All 4 United Conservative Party leadership candidates vow to repeal farm law

RED DEER, Alta. _ All four candidates vying to become the leader of Alberta’s United Conservative Party say they would get rid farm safety legislation brought in by the NDP government.

Jason Kenney, Doug Schweitzer, Brian Jean and Jeff Callaway were asked Tuesday night at a debate in Red Deer what they would do with the legislation, which puts farms under occupational health and safety rules and gives paid farm labourers the right to workers’ compensation benefits.

Kenney said he would repeal the legislation “within weeks of forming office”, while Schweitzer said he would also repeal it and consult with farmers and ranchers.

Jean told the 700 people at the debate that “Bill 6 has gotta go”, adding he would also get rid of the carbon tax if his party was elected to form government in the next provincial election in 2019.

Callaway said he too would get rid of the law, because the previous system was fine.

The controversial bill sparked large protests by farmers at the legislature and threats to some of Premier Rachel Notley’s caucus before it passed in December 2015.

The government says the legislation does not apply to family members and that the farm tradition will not be endangered.

Two more candidate debates are scheduled _ Fort McMurray on Oct. 12 and Lethbridge on Oct. 17.

Voting starts on Oct. 26 and can be done online or on the phone until Oct. 28.