Former N.S. ag minister Guy Brown, 72

Guy Brown, Nova Scotia’s minister of agriculture and marketing in the final year of John Savage’s Liberal government, died Sunday at age 72.

Brown, the MLA for Cumberland County from 1974 to 1998, died in Moncton after a long illness, CBC reported Monday.

He served in the provincial consumer affairs and labour portfolios before Savage named him to the agriculture and marketing post in June 1996. Brown was replaced in July 1997 by Ed Lorraine when Russell MacLellan became premier after Savage’s resignation. Lorraine died last summer at age 80.

Brown, who also served as minister responsible for the province’s Economic Renewal Agency, left provincial politics in 1998. He was replaced as Cumberland South MLA by Murray Scott, currently the economic and rural development minister in Tory Premier Rodney MacDonald’s cabinet.

MacDonald, in a release Monday, described Brown as “a dedicated and hard-working representative of the people of Cumberland County for almost a quarter of a century.

“During that time, he held many cabinet posts, but there was never any doubt that his constituents were his first priority.”

After leaving provincial politics, Brown returned to public life in 2004 as mayor of Springhill, N.S., best known as the birthplace of singer Anne Murray, about 90 km northwest of Truro.

Brown opted not to stand for re-election in 2008, citing health reasons.

Flags were put to half-mast Monday at the provincial legislature in Brown’s honour, but other memorial plans have yet to be announced.

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