Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a cabinet shuffle earlier this week, and although there were no changes for Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister, Canada’s rural citizens did gain a new minister.
For the first time under this Liberal government, Bernadette Jordan, currently Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions, becomes Minister of Rural Economic Development.
On Twitter, Jordan says, “I am honoured to be appointed Minister of Rural Economic Development, and to have the privilege of working with and on behalf of rural Canadians across the country!”
According to a news release, the new position will focus on creating a rural development strategy to spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs in rural Canada. Minister Jordan will also take action to bring high-speed internet to more rural households and businesses, and work with municipalities, provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to meet the ” unique and diverse infrastructure needs of rural communities.”
Although already announced, the government reaffirmed its commitment to providing Canadians living in rural and remote areas access to broadband internet and voice services.
Minister Jordan will be the first female minister to represent a federal riding in Nova Scotia in Canadian history.
Farm group supports the addition
The Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) says its pleased the federal government has created the new position.
“The Ministry of Rural Economic Development is welcome news to SARM,” SARM president Ray Orb says in a news release. “This move demonstrates the federal government’s recognition that more resources need to be dedicated to rural issues in the country.”
The Saskatchewan farm group plans to engage with the ministry on important rural economic issues in the province once it’s up and running.