Margaret Johnson replaces Ross Wetmore
By Diego Flammini
There’s a new face at the helm of New Brunswick’s Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.
Conservative Premier Blaine Higgs appointed Margaret Johnson, the rookie MLA for Carleton-Victoria, as the province’s new ag minister during his cabinet reveal on Sept. 29. Johnson replaces Ross Wetmore, who held the position since November 2018.
Wetmore will remain a member of the Conservative caucus, winning re-election in the riding of Gagetown-Petitcodiac.
Johnson is ready to engage with the province’s ag and fisheries sectors.
“It’s exhilarating, it’s surreal, it’s exciting,” she told CBC on Monday. “We’ve had two weeks of celebrating and now it’s time to get to work.”
Premier Higgs has indicated a provincial throne speech will take place in mid-November.
Johnson entered provincial politics in 2018, running in that year’s general election. She lost to Liberal Andrew Harvey, whom she unseated in the September 2020 provincial election.
Johnson appears to be coming into the role as provincial ag minister without any industry experience.
She taught Sunday school, led Sparks and Brownies and has been involved with other community projects.
“I am striving to meet my constituents and not only address their needs but become part of the larger community of Carleton-Victoria,” reads her online party profile. “Joining Team Higgs and working toward bringing our people securely into the next decade is my mission.”
With Johnson’s appointment, Canada has three women representing agriculture on a governmental level. She joins Lana Popham, B.C.’s minister of agriculture, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, the federal ag minister.
Farms.com has reached out to industry groups and to Minister Johnson for comment.
Margaret Johnson/Facebook photo