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by BETTER FARMING STAFF
Huron-Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell was named minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs when Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty shuffled his cabinet today.
Bette Jean Crews, president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, views Mitchell’s appointment positively and expects a smooth changeover from former Ag Minister Leona Dombrowsky, who becomes the province’s minister of education. Crews says the Federation is familiar with Mitchell from her time serving as parliamentary assistant to Steve Peters when he was agriculture minister. Mitchell, from agriculturally rich Huron County, is well known to farmers there, Crews says.
Wayne Black, president of the Huron County Federation of Agriculture, says it’s fitting that an MPP from an agriculturally rich area is the minister. “She is no rookie to politics either,” Black says. “She should know how to handle herself.”
Since first elected in 2003, Mitchell has spent time as parliamentary assistant to the minister of health and long term care, and most recently has been parliamentary assistant to the minister of municipal affairs and housing, with a concentration on municipal affairs. Mitchell was elected as new chair of the Ontario Liberal Caucus in December, 2007.
According to a release from the Premier’s office, Minister Mitchell “will continue the government's efforts to help our farmers build a thriving rural Ontario through our high-tech agriculture and food sectors.” BF