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N.S. names new ag minister in shuffle

Nova Scotia’s environment minister has been sworn in as its agriculture minister in Premier Rodney MacDonald’s cabinet shuffle announced Wednesday.

Mark Parent, the MLA for Kings North, takes over the agriculture portfolio from Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MLA Brooke Taylor.

Taylor, who owned and operated his own trucking business before becoming a Tory MLA in 1993, will become minister for transportation and infrastructure renewal.

Parent, whose constituency office is in Kentville, about 100 km northwest of Halifax, keeps his previous portfolio as minister of labour and workforce development but will hand the environment portfolio to Kings South MLA David Morse.

An MLA since 1999, Parent had previously been the pastor for Pereaux United Baptist Church in Kings County since 1994. He also taught at Mount Allison and Mount St. Vincent University and has written two books as well as columns for periodicals and daily papers.

Parent’s resume includes a master’s degree of divinity from Acadia Divinity College and a Ph.D. from McGill University.

Among other related moves, Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott, previously the transportation minister, takes over the economic development department, but will be retitled minister of economic and rural development, to “better reflect the role and goals of the department,” the province said.

Guysborough-Sheet Harbour MLA Ronald Chisholm will continue as minister of fisheries and aquaculture.

The shuffle follows the recent announcement from Truro MLA Jamie Muir, previously the minister for Service Nova Scotia, that he will not seek re-election. Pictou Centre MLA Pat Dunn is the only MLA to be promoted from outside cabinet in this shuffle, to the health promotion and protection portfolio.

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