Cabinet shuffle includes rural economic development minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed a minister in charge of rural economic development.

Bernadette Jordan, who represents South Shore-St. Margarets in Nova Scotia, takes on the new portfolio as part of the Jan. 14 cabinet shuffle.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture welcomed the appointment, saying it points to the importance of rural communities and business.

“We look forward to working with minister Jordan and discussing the CFA’s key rural priorities, which include introducing long-term, predictable infrastructure funding with provisions to address the full breadth of rural and agricultural infrastructure needs, including transportation bottlenecks, access to clean water and waste-water treatment, infrastructure that leverages on-farm renewable energy production and enables access to natural gas, and access to modern, affordable high-speed internet,” said president Ron Bonnett in a news release.

In Ottawa, Jordan told reporters she was proud to take on the role and that the urban and rural realities are different.

She said she knew that the lack of broadband Internet capacity was a major issue for rural people. Jordan was first elected in 2015.

The shuffle was required after former Treasury Board president Scott Brison announced he was stepping down and would not run again.

Jane Philpott leaves indigenous services to take over at treasury board. Seamus O’Regan moves from veterans affairs to indigenous services.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, who had been justice minister, moves to veterans affairs. David Lametti is the new justice minister.

Contact karen.briere@producer.com

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