Kostyshyn returns as Manitoba ag minister in Kinew NDP government

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A former minister of agriculture is returning to his old post in Premier Wab Kinew’s new NDP government in Manitoba.

Kinew’s cabinet was unveiled and sworn in on Wednesday, with Ron Kostyshyn returning to the ag minister role that he held from 2012 to 2016.

Having won the Dauphin riding on the west side of the province in the election earlier this month, Kostyshyn is the NDP MLA with the largest agricultural presence in their constituency.

The minister’s experience includes running a family farm and cow/calf operation, and several decades in municipal politics. He was first elected to the provincial legislature for the riding of Swan River in 2011, and was defeated by his Progressive Conservative opponent in 2016.

Kostyshyn has also served on multiple boards, including the Association of Manitoba Municipalities, Manitoba Conservation Commission, Intermountain Conservation District, Ethelbert District Veterinary Board, Farm Stewardship Association of Manitoba, and the Ethelbert Curling Club and Skating Rink.

“On behalf of all Manitoba producers, I want to welcome Minister Kostyshyn back to his role as Minister of Agriculture,” said Keystone Agricultural Producers president, Jill Verwey, in a statement issued after the swearing-in ceremony.

Kostyshyn’s past experience in the role, as well as his experience as a producer “should provide confidence that Manitoba producers will continue to have a voice at the cabinet table when key decisions are being made that affect their farm operations,” added KAP general manager Brenna Mahoney.

The Manitoba Pork Council also issued a statement welcoming Kostyshyn to his role.

“We look forward to working with Minister Kostyshyn and their entire department to build on the collaborative working relationship we have developed with the department over the last number of years, and to ensure that the conditions for growth in agriculture and the hog sector remain in place for many years to come,” noted Manitoba Pork chair Rick Préjet.

Verwey thanked Derek Johnson for his work as ag minister over the last two years.

“I would like to thank former Minister Johnson for his steadfast commitment to working tirelessly for Manitoba producers and willingness to always listen,” she said. “We were pleased to have achieved successes through increased funding for agriculture through the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, increase of the Education Property Tax Rebate to 50 per cent, and support of additional seats at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine for Manitoba students.”

Other key ministerial appointments include Adrien Sala as finance minister and Jamie Moses as economic development minister. Malaya Marcelino will be responsible for immigration and the Provincial Nominee Program, and Tracy Schmidt is Manitoba’s new minister of environment and climate change.

Related:

NDP win Manitoba, with thin agricultural representation

MacAulay back in as minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Bibeau moves to National Revenue

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