He will be part of Premier Jason Kenney’s 20-minister cabinet
By Diego Flammini
The Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake, Devin Dreeshen, is Alberta’s new Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.
Dreeshen, along with 19 other ministers who will make up Premier Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party cabinet, took the oath of office during the swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday.
Prior to his appointment as provincial ag minister, Dreeshen served as the trade critic in the Official Opposition. From 2008 to 2015, he served as a policy advisor to former Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and helped sell the Canadian Wheat Board.
The new provincial ag minister is also a farmer.
Dreeshen, the son of Earl Dreeshen, the MP for Red Deer-Mountain View, is a fifth-generation cash crop producer from Pine Lake, Alta.
The knowledge gained from working with a federal ag minister paired with his personal farming experience will help him “serve Alberta’s agricultural community and ensure that Alberta’s farmers continue to make a significant contribution to the provincial economy,” Dreeshen’s government bio says.
Producers are curious how the new government will handle ag issues.
Phillip Wipf, a pork producer from Cranford, Alta., for example, doesn’t want to see provincial funding for innovation reduced.
“We’ve actually applied to an energy efficiency program to help us out at our facility on the manure side because it’s too small,” he told Farms.com. “We’re hoping to get some funding to help build a bigger lagoon and that the new minister will help us out.
“These are programs that the minister has to understand are important to helping producers. Innovation and efficiency in the industry are important for farmers. No question about it.”
Other members of Premier Kenney’s cabinet include Travis Toews as the minister of finance, Adriana LaGrange as minister of education and Tanya Fir as minister of economic development, trade and tourism.
The new cabinet also has three associate ministers.
Dale Nally will serve as the associate minister of natural gas, Grant Hunter as the associate minister of red tape reduction and Jason Luan as the associate minister of mental health and addictions.