A former cattle producer and owner of a livestock handling equipment business has been tapped to serve as minister of agriculture in the Manitoba’s new Progressive Conservative government.
Ralph Eichler, MLA for the riding of Lakeside in the south Interlake, was sworn in along with his colleagues in Premier Brian Pallister’s cabinet on Tuesday morning at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg.
A purebred Simmental and commercial cattle producer, Eichler also owned and operated Prairie Farm and Ranch Supply. He was first elected in 2003 and served several stints as ag critic while in Opposition under Pallister and former PC leader Hugh McFadyen.
Blaine Pedersen, the Tories’ ag critic prior to the April 19th election, was named infrastructure minister, while former Keystone Ag Producers president Ian Wishart will serve as the minister of education. Eileen Clarke, the former mayor of Gladstone, was named minister of indigenous and municipal relations.
Pallister’s cabinet does not include ministers of conservation or the environment. New Winnipeg MLA Cathy Cox was sworn in as minister of sustainable development.
Pallister referred to the 4-H pledge in his speech following the swearing-in ceremony, pledging his heart, hands, head and health to serving the province.
Manitoba’s new cabinet:
• Brian Pallister (MLA for Fort Whyte) – premier and president of the executive council; minister of intergovernmental affairs and international relations;
• Heather Stefanson (MLA for Tuxedo) – minister of justice and attorney general, Keeper of the Great Seal of the Province of Manitoba, deputy premier;
• Cameron Friesen (MLA for Morden-Winkler) – minister of finance;
• Kelvin Goertzen (MLA for Steinbach) – minister of health, seniors and active living;
• Ian Wishart (MLA for Portage la Prairie) – minister of education and training;
• Scott Fielding (MLA for Kirkfield Park) – minister of families;
• Blaine Pedersen (MLA for Midland) – minister of infrastructure;
• Eileen Clarke (MLA for Agassiz) – minister of Indigenous and municipal relations;
• Cathy Cox (MLA for River East) – minister of sustainable development;
• Cliff Cullen (MLA for Spruce Woods) – minister of growth, enterprise and trade;
• Ralph Eichler (MLA for Lakeside) – minister of agriculture;
• Rochelle Squires (MLA for Riel) – minister of sport, culture and heritage and minister responsible for francophone affairs and status of women; and
• Ron Schuler (MLA for St. Paul) – minister of Crown services.