Farmers Forum staff
OTTAWA — PEI-based farmer MP Lawrence MacAulay (LIB — Cardigan) is back as federal Agriculture and Agri-food minister, replacing MP Marie-Claude Bibeau (LIB — Compton-Stanstead) in the role she had assumed from him in 2019.
Bibeau, a former campground operator, was moved out of agriculture and into the national revenue portfolio as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau significantly shuffled the cabinet July 26. Political pundits believe the shakeup involving most of the front bench could signal that a federal election will happen sooner rather than later.
MacAulay was the Trudeau government’s first agriculture minister. At the time, he succeeded former Saskatchewan MP Gerry Ritz (CON – Battlefords-Lloydminster) after the defeat of the Harper government in 2015. Trudeau shifted MacAulay to Veterans Affairs 2019, also naming him associate minister of National Defence at that time.
MacAulay was first elected to the House of Commons in 1988. He’s among the majority of the 39-member Liberal cabinet swapped into new jobs after the latest overhaul. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, and Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault were among 8 ministers left in the same positions. Meanwhile, seven faces were dropped from cabinet entirely, including the controversial Marco Mendicino.