Prime Minister Trudeau introduced his new cabinet Tuesday
By Diego Flammini
A familiar face will represent Canadian farmers and the country’s ag industry at the cabinet table.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, who retained her Compton-Stanstead seat in September’s election, is returning as minister of agriculture and agri-food.
She and 38 other cabinet ministers were sworn in Tuesday as part of Prime Minister Trudeau’s new cabinet.
Minister Bibeau had been continuing her ag work prior to her official swearing in.
On Oct. 21, she virtually joined her Mexican and American counterparts at the World Food Prize symposium to discuss long-standing collaborations between the three countries for mutually beneficial and sustainable food systems.
And in about a month, she’ll be meeting with her provincial and territorial colleagues in Canada.
All of Canada’s agriculture ministers are scheduled to meet on Nov. 20 and 27 to discuss business risk management program improvements.
Members of the Canadian ag sector welcomed Minister Bibeau back to the portfolio.
The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is ready to continue working with Minister Bibeau to position agriculture as an important industry in Canada’s post-pandemic recovery.
“We have worked closely with the Minister throughout her tenure and the COVID-19 pandemic, and are now looking forward to collaborating to ensure that Canadian agriculture can serve as a powerful economic engine for Canada’s recovery and an impactful ally in the fight against climate change,” Mary Robinson, president of the CFA, said in an Oct. 26 statement.
A provincial ag organization also looks forward to engaging with the minister.
Keystone Agricultural Producers “congratulates Marie-Claude Bibeau on her reappointment to cabinet as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food,” the organization said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing our work with her to grow Manitoba's agriculture and agri-food industry.”
Other portfolios which could affect the ag sector include Gudie Hutchings as minister of rural economic development.
Hutchings represents the Long Range Mountains riding in Newfoundland and Labrador. She previously served as the parliamentary secretary to the minister for women and gender equality and rural economic development.
She’s a former president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association and, former president of the Corner Book Chamber of Commerce and helped found the Canadian Federation of Outfitting Associations.
Mary Ng is staying on as minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development, while Mélanie Joly, the former minister of economic development and official languages, replaces Marc Garneau as minister of foreign affairs. Steven Guilbeault is the new minister of environment and climate change and Dan Vandal is the minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada.
The next session of Parliament will begin on Nov. 22 with a speech from the throne.