PEI

Lawrence MacAulay's federal cabinet post praised by P.E.I Federation of Agriculture

The P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture applauds Lawrence MacAulay's federal cabinet post as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

P.E.I. Opposition leader Jamie Fox also 'encouraged' an Islander is holding a post in Justin Trudeau's cabinet

P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture executive director Robert Godfrey says Lawrence MacAulay will understand the issues Island farmers face. (CBC)

The P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture applauds Lawrence MacAulay's federal cabinet post as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.

MacAulay, P.E.I.'s longest-serving MP, representing Cardigan since 1988, was sworn in today as the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. He has also previously served as federal minister of Labour and solicitor general.

Robert Godfrey, the federation's executive director, said it's great to see a fellow Islander in that role.

Godfrey said MacAulay is an experienced member of Parliament and has a good knowledge of the agriculture industry.

"Well, he understands the nature of agriculture here on the Island," said Godfrey.

"I know Lawrence grew up on a farm himself. He is familiar with what we do, how we operate, and it's going to be great to have that level of understanding when we go to him and explain the issues that we're facing today."

Cardigan MP Lawrence MacAulay was sworn in as federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food on Wednesday. (CBC)

Godfrey said he thinks MacAulay will understand what Island farmers have to say a bit more than than someone with a more western focus.

While he doesn't know if it will mean there will be more access to the federal minister, he does believe it will be better that he is from the province.

Opposition leader offers congratulations

Meanwhile, the National Farmers Union is also applauding MacAulay's appointment.

"We hope that with greater openness and transparency along with meaningful public engagement, Canada's agricultural policy will move in a direction that is more helpful to farm families than what we have seen over the past decade," said NFU president Jan Slomp in a news release.

P.E.I. Opposition leader Jamie Fox congratulated MacAulay on his appointment in a news release.

Opposition leader Jamie Fox says the P.E.I. Progressive Conservative Party is 'encouraged' that an Islander is holding the federal agriculture minister post. (CBC)

"Agriculture is a major industry in our province so we're encouraged to see an Islander holding this important post," said Fox.

"As Prince Edward Island's representative in the federal government there are many issues that will require co-operation between all levels of government to see real progress made over the next few years."

Fox cited agriculture, transportation, energy and infrastructure, the fishery, economic growth, health care and housing as some of the key issues that need to be addressed.

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