Winnipeg MP steps down

John Harvard, a 16-year Winnipeg MP with a record of being a Liberal point person on western Canadian and agricultural issues, has been appointed lieutenant-governor of Manitoba.

Prime minister Paul Martin made the announcement May 7, clearing the way for Winnipeg mayor Glen Murray to run as a Liberal candidate in Harvard’s riding.

Harvard, 65, was elected in 1988 after a career in broadcasting and journalism and soon became an opposition critic on agricultural issues.

In government, he served as chair of the House of Commons agriculture committee, chair of the Liberal western and northern caucus, parliamentary secretary to the agriculture minister, chair of the 1999 prime minister’s task force on western issues and since Dec. 12, parliamentary secretary to trade minister Jim Peterson, with emphasis on resource exports including agriculture.

His last intervention in Parliament came May 3 when he announced that Agriculture Canada is trying to find a system that would take into account market impact before controversial new products such as genetically modified wheat are approved for marketing.

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