New Brunswick ag, fisheries files remarried

Tories reunite two portfolios under one minister

Ross Wetmore. (Video screengrab from NBPCCaucus via YouTube)

New Brunswick’s incoming minority Progressive Conservative government will again have one minister handling the province’s agriculture and aquaculture files.

Premier Blaine Higgs on Friday announced Gagetown-Petitcodiac MLA Ross Wetmore as his minister of agriculture, aquaculture and fisheries.

Wetmore, 65, replaces Andrew Harvey and Benoit Bourque, who had handled the agriculture and fisheries portfolios respectively on an acting basis up until Brian Gallant’s Liberals lost a non-confidence motion Nov. 2.

Gallant had split the ag and fisheries portfolios between two ministers in 2017, though the ag and fisheries departments continued to be managed by one deputy minister and an “integrated management team.”

The incumbent Liberals briefly formed a minority government following the Sept. 24 provincial election, despite winning 21 of 49 seats. The Tories won 22, with the Green and People’s Alliance parties taking three seats each.

Wetmore, a businessman best known as co-owner of Gagetown-based K+W Quality Meats and the Gagetown Marina, came to the legislature in 2010 as the MLA for the riding then known as Grand Lake-Gagetown. He was re-elected in 2014 and again in September.

His previous cabinet and shadow cabinet posts include a stint as legislative secretary to the minister for transportation and infrastructure and most recently as Higgs’ critic for natural resources.

Wetmore has also sat on the standing committee on Crown corporations and the select committee on cannabis. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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