N.L. agrifoods file moves to new minister

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, which oversees public policy for the province’s livestock, crops and agrifood sectors, is again getting new management.

Oversight for the agency, first set up in 2007 by then-natural resources minister Kathy Dunderdale, had been moved in March from the natural resources department to the fisheries and aquaculture department.

However, incoming Premier Dwight Ball on Monday turned the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency file over to Christopher Mitchelmore, his new minister for business, tourism, culture and rural development.

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Ball on Nov. 30 led the provincial Liberals to defeat Paul Davis’ governing Tories, by a count of 31 seats to seven, with two seats going to the provincial New Democrats.

Mitchelmore, the MHA for St. Barbe-L’anse aux Meadows, was first elected as a rookie New Democrat in 2011 but crossed to the opposition Liberals in February last year. He then became the Liberals’ critic for environment and conservation, forestry and the Office of Public Engagement.

Originally from the fishing village of Green Island Cove, Mitchelmore has a commerce degree and worked as a client services officer and youth ventures co-ordinator with the Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC) Nortip before entering provincial politics. He also previously worked for the provincial innovation, business and rural development department. — AGCanada.com Network

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