Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister named his cabinet this in October and Midland MLA Blaine Pedersen was named minister of Agriculture and Resource Development.
“It’s always an honour to be in the cabinet, no matter what position,” said Pedersen. “This position, Agriculture and Natural Resources, I’m very familiar with. Agriculture is what my background is in and the natural resource side as well. Besides agriculture, we also look after mining, petroleum, forestry, fisheries, watershed management, conservation trust and crown Lands.”
Minister Pedersen says it may sound like a lot but at the same time, it’s all things natural resources and the water management side which is a natural fit in agriculture.
“To a certain extent the mining industry as well,” he explains. “What we have seen in the last number of years is agriculture, the farmers, dealing with one or more departments other than agriculture coming to things like water management and this will streamline it for the agriculture community and it will make it a one-stop-shop for agriculture.”
Pedersen feels his strong background in agriculture will help him in his new role and that you may not think someone from Midland would be well versed in mining knowledge, something he’s been keeping up with for years.
“Mining is really ramping up in Manitoba so it’s a good economic driver for the province,” he adds.
Pedersen knows it’s going to be tough working with a Liberal minority government but he feels like Manitoba can help broker the feeling of separation other Western provinces may be feeling.”
“Separation is not an option,” said Pedersen. “We need to work together as a country and perhaps this is a good role for Manitoba. It’s disappointing to see the results as a conservative but the people have spoken. Let’s make the most of it. Just like Manitoba, Canada has all kinds of potential and we need to work toward the potential, work with our strengths and not on our weaknesses.”