Farmers are asking the Province for consultation with the agriculture sector and a more reasonable deadline for changes that affect obtaining a Class 1 drivers license in Alberta.
Coming into effect on Friday, March 1, anyone who wants to obtain a Class 1 license will need to complete the Mandatory Entry Level Training Program.
The Alberta Government website says commercial driver training is available and encouraged, but is not currently mandatory and curriculums vary.
Team Alberta, a group which represents the four major crop commissions in the province, says many farmers are highly dependent on seasonal labour that requires a Class 1 license, and much of this labour is hired and trained immediately prior to the spring planting season.
The group is concerned this change could significantly impact many farmers' ability to hire properly trained and licensed drivers before seeding this year's crop.
Vice-Chair of the Alberta Wheat Commission, Hannah Konschuh, says Team Alberta fully supports safer and more highly skilled drivers operating on roads and highways.
"But the timelines and lack of consultation with farmers would make it virtually impossible to comply with new regulations by the deadline."
Additionally, Konschuh says there doesn't seem to be an increase in training capacity to accommodate this big change.
For more information on the Class 1 changes, visit the Government of Alberta website.
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