Table of contents

Reason for vote

The purpose of this plebiscite is to consider whether lamb producers desire a refundable or non-refundable service charge model.

The Alberta Lamb Producers (ALP) requested this vote in accordance with the:

Understanding your voting options

This plebiscite will ask producers to vote on the following matter.

“I would like the Alberta Lamb Producers to operate with a:

  • Non-refundable service charge model

or

  • Refundable service charge model”

A vote for a non-refundable service charge means the service charge paid would be non-refundable and retained by the Alberta Lamb Producers. This would be a change from the current service charge model.

A vote for a refundable service charge means to continue using the current service charge model. The service charge paid would continue to be refundable at the request of the producer.

When to vote

The voting period starts October 18, 2022 at noon MDT and ends November 16, 2022, at noon MST.

How to vote

You can vote using one of the following methods, but not both:

  • electronic ballot (administered by Intelivote Systems Inc.)
  • mail-in ballot (administered by Meyers Norris Penney (MNP))

Electronic voting includes the ability to vote via any internet-enabled device with a web browser (for example, smartphone, computer, tablet, video game console), as well as over the phone using a cell phone or landline.

Voting deadline

Regardless of your chosen voting method, the ballot must be received by the returning officer no later than noon MST on November 16, 2022.

  • Submit electronic ballots by noon MST on November 16, 2022. After this time, the electronic voting system will be closed and no additional ballots can be submitted.
  • Ensure mail-in ballots are delivered by noon MST on November 16, 2022. Ballots postmarked before but received after the deadline will be considered spoiled and will be discarded.

Who is eligible to vote

Section 2 of the Alberta Lamb Producers Plebiscite Directive (2022) states the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible to vote in the plebiscite:

  • A person who has paid a service charge under the Alberta Lamb Producers Plan between September 1, 2020 and September 30, 2022, whether or not the producer requested a service charge refund.
  • Is 18 years of age or older.
  • Has not previously voted in the plebiscite.
  • Is an individual or an individual representing a partnership, a corporation or an organization that is not a partnership or a corporation.

For the purpose of the plebiscite, a partnership, a corporation, or an organization that is not a partnership of a corporation can have only one individual as a representative.

An individual person may vote only once in the plebiscite notwithstanding that the producer may manage, operate, own, lease or hold equity in two or more operations.

Procedure for voting

Step 1. Initial notice

Every eligible producer whose name appears on the voters list will receive an initial notice of the plebiscite in late September, 2022 via Canada Post. The notice includes information on voter eligibility, voting methods, and the timing of the vote.

Step 2. Voter information letter

Each producer on the voters list will receive a second letter during the first or second week of October with their unique voting PIN, and instructions on how to complete the electronic voting process. This letter will also include a mail-in ballot and return envelope. Only choose one method to send in your vote. If any producer attempts to vote by both electronic ballot and mail-in ballot, only the ballot received first will be counted.

Voting results

If the plebiscite results in a vote for a non-refundable service charge model, amendments to the ALP’s regulations will be necessary for the change to take effect. This would require approval from:

  • ALP
  • Marketing Council
  • Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development.

If the plebiscite results in a vote for the service charge model to remain refundable, there will be no change to the current service charge structure or regulations.

Service charge model background

The service charge model is a structure under which the ALP collects a check-off from producers on the purchase of ear tags and the sale of wool. Under ALP’s current regulations, a producer may request a refund of all or a portion of the service charge they pay from ALP.

Before 2009 ALP used a non-refundable service charge model. MAPA was amended in 2009 to make all agricultural commissions operate with a refundable service charge model. MAPA was then amended in 2017, to provide autonomy to agricultural commissions to determine the service charge model that would work best for their industry, through a plebiscite of producers.

Marketing Council role

Marketing Council does not have a position on the question of service charge model and is acting in an administrative capacity only as the Returning Officer, responsible to oversee the plebiscite process. As part of its oversight role, Marketing Council has retained the services of MNP, who will be the Deputy Returning Officer for the plebiscite, responsible for working with Marketing Council to administer the plebiscite per the established plebiscite directive.

Plebiscite directive

The plebiscite is governed by a directive, which is made by Marketing Council with the approval of the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Economic Development under section 5.1 of the MAPA. The directive was also reviewed by ALP. The directive is available for review and download.

Contact

For questions about the plebiscite, contact Marketing Council:

Phone: 780-427-2164
Email: [email protected]

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