Further to our press release on February 7, 2019, we are proactively working with other Alberta farmer organizations and the Government of Alberta to request an extension to the March 1, 2019 implementation date. These changes will require any resident of Alberta who wants to obtain a new Class 1 driver’s licence to take the Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) program.
Many farmers are dependent on seasonal labour and most are hired and trained immediately prior to spring seeding. The changes would require over 100 hours of training, which would be difficult to complete prior to seeding. Additionally, the need for privately-run licensing bodies, to re-train and re-test instructors and examiners in order to administer the MELT program, is currently making access to the training and testing facilities difficult. The changes that come into effect on March 1, 2019, could significantly impact many farmers’ ability to hire properly trained and licensed drivers prior to seeding the 2019 crop.
The Government of Alberta states there are over 25,000 Class 1 and Class 3 farm vehicles registered and only a small proportion of farmers have, or are required to have, a Class 1 licence. While the proportion may be small according to the government, the impact to farms that rely on Class 1 drivers is significant. The Ministry of Transportation has developed an FAQ to address concerns that were raised by the agriculture industry in a webinar this past Wednesday. They are attached here. Team Alberta continues to work Alberta Transportation to find a solution.
Team Alberta is a collaboration between four of Alberta’s crop commissions: Alberta Barley, Alberta Canola, Alberta Pulse Growers and the Alberta Wheat Commission, that advocates for the growth, competitiveness and sustainability of Alberta’s crop sector. Collectively, Team Alberta represents approximately 20,000 grower members.
Alberta Pulse Growers
780-986-9398 ext. 108
Alberta Wheat and Barley