Bibeau likely to stay as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in impending cabinet shuffle

by

Opinion

A cabinet shuffle is said to be in the works this week and some media sources are describing it as significant.

While many Canadians will have their eyes on higher profile cabinet roles, the interest for rural Canada will be on the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC). Marie-Claude Bibeau has been the minister for AAFC since March of 2019.

In texting with sources around Ottawa, the consensus is that Bibeau will stay on as minister in the upcoming shuffle. There will be more focus on the higher ranking cabinet positions heading into the next election, which some believe to be the reason for the shuffle at this time.

One of the variables of any cabinet shuffle under the Trudeau government is the promise of a gender balanced cabinet. If Bibeau was to be shuffled it would likely be to another ministry and not the back bench, as at least three female MPs have already said they are not seeking re-election and will likely be shuffled out.

Judging by the Prime Minister showing up at the Canadian Federation of Agriculture meeting last March and the kind words of praise he has for the minister, it’s apparent she holds reasonable favour with the PM. Plus, there is significance politically to having an agriculture minister from rural Quebec.

There are a few Liberal MPs waiting in the wings that would likely love the portfolio of agriculture. Francis Drouin (Glengarry—Prescott—Russell in Ontario) and Kody Blois (Kings-Hants in Nova Scotia) are the most familiar candidates for the role if it opened up, but sources suggest there just isn’t a strong enough argument to warrant the change. Drouin is the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Blois is the chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

Stay tuned….

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