A familiar face is back as Manitoba's agriculture minister.
During a cabinet shuffle Thursday, Premier Brian Pallister named Lakeside MLA Ralph Eichler as the province's new minister of agriculture and resource development. Eichler previously served as agriculture minister from 2016 to 2019. The province says an immediate priority for Eichler will be to develop drought relief support for hard-hit farmers and ranchers.
Midland MLA Blaine Pedersen, who held the job since 2019, has announced his retirement from cabinet. In a tweet, Pedersen said he will not be seeking re-election in the next provincial election. For the remainder of this term, he will be continuing as MLA for Midland.
Morden-Winkler MLA Cameron Friesen retains his post as minister of justice and attorney general.
Dr. Alan Lagimodiere, MLA for Selkirk, enters cabinet as the first minister of Indigenous reconciliation and northern relations.
Jon Reyes, MLA for Waverley, enters cabinet as minister of economic development and jobs.
The premier thanked former ministers Eileen Clarke and Blaine Pedersen for their service to Manitobans as members of cabinet since 2016.
“I have been proud to have both Blaine and Eileen as part of our team from the very beginning,” said Pallister. “Both have served Manitobans exceptionally well as ministers and leave a strong legacy of accomplishments. They have my grateful thanks for stepping up to serve and my best wishes for the new family time they are about to enjoy.”
Ministers whose portfolio responsibilities have not changed are:
• Kelvin Goertzen – deputy premier, minister of legislative and public affairs;
• Heather Stefanson – minister of health and seniors care;
• Cameron Friesen – minister of justice and attorney general;
• Ron Schuler – minister of infrastructure;
• Cliff Cullen – minister of education;
• Scott Fielding – minister of finance;
• Cathy Cox – minister of sport, culture and heritage, minister responsible for status of women;
• Rochelle Squires – minister of families, minister responsible for francophone affairs;
• Jeff Wharton – minister of Crown services;
• Reg Helwer – minister of central services;
• Sarah Guillemard – minister of conservation and climate;
• Derek Johnson – minister of municipal relations;
• Audrey Gordon – minister of mental health, wellness and recovery;
• Wayne Ewasko – minister of advanced education, skills and immigration.