Alta. Wildrose names new ag critic

Alberta’s new official Wildrose opposition has named Vulcan County farmer Ian Donovan as its critic for agriculture and rural development.

Donovan won his first term as the MLA for the Little Bow riding in the April 23 provincial election, defeating Progressive Conservative candidate John Kolk, a former chairman of Chicken Farmers of Canada.

Donovan, who entered municipal politics at age 19 as a Vulcan County councilor, won the Wildrose party nomination in 2010.

"While we will not needlessly oppose the Redford PCs, we intend to use our role as official opposition to ensure that Albertans’ voices are clearly heard in the Alberta Legislature," new opposition leader Danielle Smith said in a release Tuesday.

Others in the Wildrose shadow cabinet of interest to farmers include:

  • Joe Anglin, former CEO of oil and gas firm ASIG and the new MLA for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, as critic for environment, water and utilities;
  • Bruce Rowe, a businessman, mayor of Beiseker and the new MLA for Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills, as critic for municipal affairs;
  • Pat Stier, a seismic data consultant, rural planning agent and former councillor with the Municipal District of Foothills (2004-07), who defeated the PCs’ agriculture minister Evan Berger in the Livingstone-MacLeod riding, as sustainable resource development critic; and
  • Drew Barnes, a Medicine Hat businessman with irrigated farming and ranching interests, who beat the Tories’ Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA, farmer Len Mitzel, and will be the critic for infrastructure and transportation.

Premier Alison Redford said in a statement Wednesday that the new legislative assembly would convene for a "very short session" starting May 23, with a throne speech and election of a new speaker.

Related story:
Alberta Tories win nail-biter, lose ag minister, April 24, 2012

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