The latest federal cabinet shuffle in Canada has seen longtime minister Marie-Claude Bibeau finally leave her post as minister of agriculture and agri-food, a file she has held since 2019.
Bibeau, the MP for Compton-Stansead, is now Canada’s minister of national revenue. Assuming the agriculture and agri-food portfolio is Cardigan MP Laurence MacAulay – no stranger to the ag file himself. MacAulay, who has served as an MP since 1988 and counts himself among some of the country’s longest-serving MPs (as well as the longest-serving MP from Prince Edward Island) held the role of minister of agriculture during the entirety of Justin Trudeau’s first year as Prime Minister, from 2015 to 2019. Since then, he has also served as associate minister of national defence and minister of veteran’s affairs.
Despite his years of experience on the file, MacAulay assumes the position at a time of significant challenge for the country’s agriculture industry – particularly in his home province of P.E.I. The province spent the better part of last year engaged in a trade dispute with the U.S. following the discovery of potato wart in two P.E.I. fields – a dispute which still affects seed potato exports.
MacAulay and Bibeau were two of the many ministers to change positions on the July 26 shuffle.