New Manitoba Premier Wab Kinew’s mandate letter for the province’s agriculture minister was made public on Monday.
Ron Kostyshyn has returned as Manitoba’s ag minister for a second term, after representing the agriculture portfolio in cabinet from 2012 to 2016 in the province’s last NDP government.
“Agriculture is the backbone of our provincial economy. As the Minister of Agriculture, you are the steward of this essential sector. Your goal will be to support the sector so that Manitoba can be a leader in agricultural innovation, research and job creation,” says Kinew, in the letter. “A strong agricultural sector means a strong Manitoba.”
The letter includes five specific priorities for Kostyshyn:
- Reinstate unit transfers to the Crown Land program while also making leases more affordable to give the next generation of producers a fighting chance.
- Work with the Federal government to ensure strong AgriRecovery and AgriStability supports to help producers make ends meet while they navigate the impacts of climate change.
- Keep MASC offices open to give producers the support they need close to home and explore opportunities to bring MASC offices back to rural communities.
- Work with the Minister of Advanced Education and Training to deliver funding to build a Prairie Innovation centre for Sustainable Agriculture at Assiniboine Community College.
- Support innovation and research in the agricultural sector including opportunities to expand regenerative agriculture.
Meanwhile, rookie Progressive Conservative MLA and crop input industry veteran Jeff Bereza, who was elected in the Portage riding, has been appointed as the PC’s shadow minister of agriculture in the Manitoba legislature.