Premier Heather Stefanson shuffled her cabinet on Tuesday
By Diego Flammini
Manitoba has a new minister of agriculture.
Derek Johnson (pictured above), the MLA for Interlake-Gimli, is the new head of Manitoba Agriculture, Premier Heather Stefanson revealed in her first cabinet shuffle since taking office in November.
From Jan. 5, 2021 to his appointment as ag minister, Johnson served as the minister of municipal relations.
Eileen Clark, the MLA for Agassiz, will replace Johnson in that role.
Ag organizations are ready to work with the new ag minister.
Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) “congratulates Derek Johnson on his appointment to cabinet as the minister of agriculture, KAP President Bill Campbell said in a statement. “As the MLA for Interlake-Gimli and as a former municipal councillor, Minister Johnson understands the challenges facing Manitoba’s agricultural industry and we look forward to working with him.”
“We look forward to working with you to advance agriculture in (Manitoba) and across the prairies,” the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute (PAMI) said on Twitter.
Johnson replaces Ralph Eichler, who had two stints as Manitoba’s ag minister.
The first took place from May 3, 2016, to Oct. 3, 2019. The second started on July 15, 2021 and ended on Jan. 18, 2022.
Eichler is no longer a member of Premier Stefanson’s cabinet but remains the MLA for Lakeside.
KAP and PAMI also thanked Eichler for his work on the ag portfolio.
“We have valued Minister Eichler’s desire to grow the industry through his various roles in public office and wish him the best,” Campbell said in KAP's statement.
Other members of Premier Stefanson’s new cabinet include:
- Jeff Wharton (MLA for Red River Noth) as minister of environment, climate and parks, and minister responsible for Efficiency Manitoba;
- Doyle Piwniuk (MLA for Turtle Mountain) as minister of transportation and infrastructure; and
- Scott Johnston (MLA for Assiniboia) as the new minister of seniors and long-term care.