Newfoundland to revamp ag oversight in shuffle

MHA Elvis Loveless to handle ag and fisheries files

File photo of the Confederation Building, home to Newfoundland and Labrador’s House of Assembly, in St. John’s. (Benkrut/iStock/Getty Images)

Newfoundland and Labrador’s new premier plans a “realignment” for several of the provincial government’s departments — including a slightly different home and a new minister for the agriculture file.

Dr. Andrew Furey, who was sworn in Wednesday to replace Dwight Ball as premier, announced a new cabinet the same day for the province’s Liberal minority government.

Elvis Loveless, the rookie MHA for the southern Newfoundland riding of Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune, was named Wednesday as the new minister for fisheries, forestry and agriculture.

Furey’s announcement included the “realignment of a number of government departments,” with further details expected in “coming days.”

Agriculture until now has been an arm of the provincial fisheries and land resources department, and had previously been under the natural resources department’s oversight until 2015.

Loveless, originally from Seal Cove, had been active in provincial politics for years before recapturing Fortune Bay for the Liberals in last May’s election. He was named by Ball in June last year as parliamentary secretary to the minister of fisheries and land resources.

Gerry Byrne, the incumbent minister for fisheries and land resources since 2017, was named Wednesday as Furey’s minister for immigration, skills and labour and minister responsible for Workplace NL.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture on Wednesday tweeted congratulations for Loveless on the new post and said it “look(s) forward to working with you in the future,” while also thanking Byrne “for his support for the agriculture industry in N.L.” — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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