Kathleen Wynne splits Ontario Agriculture Portfolio in Surprising Twist (Feb 11, 2013)

Kathleen Wynne splits Ontario Agriculture Portfolio in Surprising Twist

Wynne becomes Minister of Agriculture and hands off Rural Affairs Portfolio to Jeff Leal

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As anticipated, at the official swearing-in ceremony, Kathleen Wynne became Ontario’s first female Premier and she also became Minister of Agriculture. What wasn’t so expected was that Kathleen Wynne split the Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs portfolio into two, spinning off the Rural Affairs portion of the portfolio to new comer Jeff Leal, MPP from Peterborough. Leal was first elected in 2003 and holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Trent University. The Ministerial portfolio was previously held by Ted McMeekin who is now the new Minster of Community and Social Services.

More than half of the Liberal caucus is now in cabinet – 27 cabinet positions; but there are 20 new members of the cabinet, and only seven veteran and experienced cabinet ministers remain.   

The Premier's move to become Minister of Agriculture and split the Ministry is an interesting signal that the Liberals plan to court the "rural resident" vote. It further suggests they recognise it was the rural vote that was their demise NOT agriculture. One can anticipate rural organizations positioning themselves as the voice to be heard on behalf of rural Ontario. What of the agriculture voice? Who will control the agenda?
Posted by Tony Morris on 2/25/2013 12:06:40 PM
Seems like s move to the past--the test will be whether the people living in rural Ontario will benefit.
Posted by Clay Switzer on 2/14/2013 1:53:44 PM
Feels like the Premier thinks that agriculture is so easy and insignificant that she should be able to handle it in her spare time.
Posted by R Hunsberger on 2/12/2013 2:28:43 PM
I fear that the splitting of the Ministry(OMAFRA) will lead to opposing uses of good agricultural land. This experiment has been tried before and it did not work.
Posted by R Winslade on 2/12/2013 9:36:40 AM
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