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Ellis appointed Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture

In this file photograph, former MP Lyle Vanclief joins Sue and Neil Ellis and former MPP Keith MacDonald to open a Picton office

Bay of Quinte riding MP Neil Ellis will serve as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.

He was selected today by Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to serve in the position, assisting Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Ellis welcomes the new role as he prepares to serve the Bay of Quinte riding for a second term.

“Our region has a deep history when it comes to agriculture. Not only do we have a lot of farmers in our riding, but former MP for the area, the Honourable Lyle Vanclief served as the Minister of Agriculture under Prime Minister Jean Chretien from 1997 to 2003. Prior to his appointment as Minister he also served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture.”

Then known as the Prince Edward—Hastings riding, Vanclief’s professional background in agricultural sciences brought a depth of expertise to multiple roles during his elected terms of service as a Member of Parliament in 1988, 1993, 1997 and 2000; including Opposition Critic for Agriculture to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture.

Ellis says he looks forward to filling this role and will seek Vanclief’s expertise and advice on the file.

Vanclief stated Ellis’ leadership skills and experience have been recognized and will serve him well in the new role.

“The Agriculture and Agri-food industry is large and complex as it deals with 1 in 7 working Canadians from the primary producers to consumers but (Ellis) is up to the task to help shape the future of the industry.”

Although the riding’s boundary and name has changed, Ellis notes that the Bay of Quinte’s “key needs are still the same in this sector. We are always asking: how do we produce the best agri-food products, using the most efficient means? How can we keep our food and water sources safe? How do we optimize accessibility to these products and sustain existing or expanding markets? These are still the core questions that guide the work of our farming community members; and that of our Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) and also the department.”

In this new position Ellis will support the work undertaken by the Ministry, and by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Farm Credit Canada, the Canada Grain Commission, the Canadian Dairy Commission and the National Farm Products Council.

“This moment is really humbling. I’m very honoured to follow in the footsteps of former MP Vanclief and to also have the chance to stay grounded in the top issues that affect not only the Bay of Quinte riding, but every riding across the country. At the end of the day, we all need to eat, so making sure that the people who grow and get that food to our tables are best supported is really going to be an exciting role. I look forward to it.”

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