Inside Politics

The case of the missing Manitoba agriculture minister

Here's a snippet from Monday morning's press conference where federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, Saskatchewan Ag Min Bob Bjornerud and Alberta Ag Min Evan Berger discussed the impending final House of Commons vote on ending the Canadian Wheat Board's monopoly (the bill still has to make its way through the Senate before it becomes law).

That's two out of three prairie provinces represented - but what of Manitoba's agriculture minister, Stan Struthers? The Winnipeg Free Press' Hill reporter, Mia Rabson got to the bottom of it.

Mia Rabson: I'm just curious if the Manitoba minister was invited, [and] why they're not at the table today. 

Gerry Ritz: Well, as I said in my opening remarks, Mia, Manitoba accounts for about 10 per cent of the Canadian Wheat Board commodities. We're here talking about the successful conclusion to change coming up in to the future with the passage of Bill C-18. Mr. Struthers and his government continue to be mired in the past and, you know, really, were not affiliated with this particular announcement. 

Rabson: Were they invited to participate and declined or...?

Ritz: I'm not aware of whether they declined or accepted. I don't know that. 

Rabson: Were they actually invited?

Ritz: No.  

Tags: adventures in press conferences

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