Trent Wotherspoon is the party’s new agriculture critic
By Diego Flammini
Saskatchewan’s official opposition announced which members of the legislative assembly (MLA) are going to hold the provincial government to account in the legislature.
Trent Wotherspoon, the MLA for Regina Rosemont is the agriculture critic for the Saskatchewan NDP, Leader Ryan Meili revealed on Nov. 3.
“Agriculture is an incredibly proud industry in this province and is important today and tomorrow when we look at the economics of Saskatchewan,” Wotherspoon told Farms.com.
As the ag critic, Wotherspoon will present the NDP’s views on policy opposite the ministers in Premier Scott Moe’s cabinet.
“I’ll be there as a voice bringing the perspective of producers as well as bringing about the needs, challenges and opportunities of this incredible industry to the floor of the assembly,” he said. “We want agriculture to have as strong a footing as it does today, to be ready for tomorrow.”
In addition to the agriculture portfolio, Wotherspoon is the critic for finance, SaskTel, Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and the Crown Investments Corporation.
At least two of Wotherspoon’s shadow cabinet responsibilities intersect.
As the critic for agriculture and SaskTel, he’s aware of the importance rural connectivity plays in modern farming operations.
“High-speed Internet and cellular coverage has been seen as a luxury in rural Saskatchewan but we know it’s a necessity and we will be pushing for action on this front,” he said. “It’s important for farms across Saskatchewan, families, for schools and for rural economic development.”
On Nov. 9, Premier Scott Moe announced his cabinet with David Marit returning as minister of agriculture and minister responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation.
One of Minister Marit’s first responsibilities will be to attend the virtual meetings of the federal, provincial and territorial ministers of agriculture. The meetings are scheduled to take place on Nov. 20 and 27.
One item on the ministers’ agenda is improving business risk management programs.
Wotherspoon will be waiting to hear what the ministers agree on in terms of support for farmers.
“It’s important (the provincial government) fixes the business risk management programs,” he said. “We need to make sure they’re working for farmers across Saskatchewan.”
Other ministers in Premier Moe’s cabinet include Don Morgan (SaskTel and Crown Investments Corporation), and Donna Harpauer (finance).