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Feds name new deputy agriculture minister

The federal government has named one of its senior staff in intergovernmental affairs to become Canada’s top ag bureaucrat.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Thursday named John Knubley as the government’s deputy minister for agriculture and agri-food, replacing Yaprak Baltacioglu effective July 1.

Baltacioglu, who had served in the deputy ag minister’s post since March 2007, moves on to become deputy minister of transport, infrastructure and communities.

The moves come as part of a mini-shuffle in the senior ranks of the public service upon the retirement of Louis Ranger, who Baltacioglu replaces as deputy transport minister.

Knubley’s resume in the public service is steeped mostly in intergovernmental affairs, including a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government (1985) and a stint since last December as the federal Privy Council Office’s deputy minister for intergovernmental affairs.

Knubley, 57, also served as vice-president of the federal Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) in Nova Scotia (2002-06); director of operations, intergovernmental affairs, in the Privy Council Office (1994-96); and policy advisor in the Federal-Provincial Relations Office (1985-90).

Born in Montreal, Knubley began his career in the federal civil service with the Economic Council of Canada in 1980, before which he worked as a consultant (1978-79) for Ottawa-based Intercounsel Ltd., supporting an integrated oil company and national bank on domestic and international transactions.

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