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P.E.I. names new ag minister in shuffle

Prince Edward Island’s environment minister becomes its new agriculture minister in Premier Robert Ghiz’s cabinet shuffle Tuesday.

Borden-Kinkora MLA George Webster, a Middleton-area farmer and the province’s minister of environment, energy and forestry since June 2007, has been shuffled into the agriculture portfolio, replacing Tignish-Palmer Road MLA Neil LeClair.

Webster, as a farmer, earned national and provincial accolades for stewardship including the Canadian Agri-Food Award of Excellence for Environmental Stewardship, as well as the Honourable Gilbert R. Clements Award for Excellence in Sustainable Agriculture.

For the latter, Webster was cited for his work in establishing the Maple Plains Agro Environmental Site, to demonstrate sustainable farming practices.

Webster has also been an active member of ag industry organizations including the P.E.I. Federation of Agriculture and the P.E.I. Potato Board.

LeClair, who’s also a farmer and had been ag minister since June 2007, now replaces Allan Campbell, a fisherman by trade, as minister of fisheries, aquaculture and rural development.

Campbell in turn replaces former Charlottetown city councilor Richard Brown in the innovation and advanced learning portfolio, and Brown in turn replaces Webster in the environment portfolio.

“I have always been very clear that re-assignment of cabinet duties will take place on a fairly regular basis,” Ghiz said in a release Tuesday, adding that he feels the changes will be “very positive for Prince Edward Island.”

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