Dawson: MAFRD is now MDA

When Premier Brian Pallister and his 12 cabinet ministers were sworn into office May 3 most of their ministries got a new name, including Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD).

Once again it is the Manitoba Department of Agriculture (MDA).

Rural development is now part of Indigenous and Municipal Relations under Minister Eileen Clarke.

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare’s Juliet asks in “Romeo and Juliet.”

“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

It would, but what’s in this new name is 14 fewer letters — a 29 per cent reduction. Cutting waste was part of the Progressive Conservative Party’s platform and it’s started on redundant words. It goes without saying agriculture is rural and includes food.

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Reporters — print and broadcast — are rejoicing. Great newspaper reporters/novelists, including George Orwell and Ernest Hemingway, preached the gospel of brevity.

“Never use a long word where a short one will do,” Orwell wrote. “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.”

Some are hoping the Trudeau government drops the tediously long Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and reverts to the succinct Agriculture Canada — a 45 per cent saving in letters. That would be Tweet, rather, sweet.

About the author


Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.



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