Blaine Pedersen has succeeded Ralph Eichler as minister of agriculture as Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday.
The move comes six weeks after the provincial election in which the Progressive-Conservatives won a second majority. Also, it expands from 13 to 15 members including Pallister.
Pedersen, the MLA for Midland, was named Minister Agriculture and Resource Development. The new ministry combines agriculture, natural resources, forestry, and mining along with fish and wildlife management, according to a statement issued by the province. Also under Pedersen’s oversight are the GROW programming and watershed districts.
Prior to entering provincial politics in 2007, Pedersen was a cattle rancher and grain farmer. He had been Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade prior to the shuffle.
Eichler, the MLA for Lakeside, became Minister of Economic Development and Training. His department combines economic development with post-secondary education and training.
An MLA for the last 16 years, Eichler had been a business owner and a senior administrator with the Interlake School Division.
Receiving new portfolios or being named to cabinet were:
- Reg Helwer (Brandon West) as Minister of Central Services
- Sarah Guillemard (Fort Richmond) as Minister of Conservation and Climate
- Rochelle Squires (Riel) as Minister of Municipal Relations and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs
- Jeff Wharton (Red River North) as Minister of Crown Services
- Cathy Cox (Kildonan-River East) Minister Responsible for the Status of Women and Minister for Sport, Culture and Heritage
Those remaining in their current positions were:
- Heather Stefanson (Tuxedo) as Minister of Families and Deputy Premier
- Cameron Friesen (Morden-Winkler) as Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living
- Cliff Cullen (Spruce Woods) as Minister of Justice and Attorney General
- Kelvin Goertzen (Steinbach) as Minister of Education
- Eileen Clarke (Agassiz) as Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations
- Ron Schuler (Springfield-Richot) as Minister of Infrastructure
- Scott Fielding (Kirkfield Park) as Minister of Finance