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Parti Quebecois names new ag critic

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois has named Iberville MNA Marie Bouille as the official opposition’s critic for agriculture, food and fisheries.

As ag critic, Bouille replaces Labelle MNA Sylvain Page, who moves over to handle the regional development portfolio following the Dec. 8 provincial election, in which the PQ regained official opposition status from Action democratique Quebec (ADQ).

Bouille, who was defeated by the ADQ in her south-shore riding in the 2007 election, on Dec. 8 reclaimed a seat the PQ had last held from 1994 to 2003.

She will face the Liberal government’s ag minister, Laurent Lessard, at the Quebec provincial assembly’s next sitting, scheduled in March. The ADQ named Beauce-Nord MNA Janvier Grondin as its new ag critic in December.

Bouille, whose new duties were announced Friday, brings to the Pequistes’ ag critic post a resume steeped in Quebec ag policy. Her academic profile includes a B.Sc. in geography and an M.Sc. in hydrology as well as the farm leadership program offered by the Canadian Farm Business Management Council at the University of Saskatchewan.

Bouille, since 1996, has been a policy advisor to the Federation des producteurs de cultures commerciales du Quebec, l’Association des negociants en cereales du Quebec and l’Association quebecoise des industries de nutrition animale et cerealiere, groups representing cash crop producers, grain traders and the feed industry respectively.

In 2008 she also took on a post as general manager for la Cooperative de solidarite en soutien a domicile de la Coop Aide Rive-Sud, a home care co-operative for seniors and people with disabilities.

From 1997 to 2006 she also served as general manager for the Federation des producteurs de pommes de terre du Quebec, the province’s potato growers’ group, under the umbrella of the province’s general farm organization, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).

During that time she also served as an elected board member with the Canadian Horticultural Council and its Quebec counterpart, and a term as head of the CHC’s finance committee (2004-05).

She also served as a director with the UPA’s women’s wing, the Federation des agricultrices du Quebec (1986-88), and as an assistant manager at UPA from 1998 to 1993. From 1994 to 1996 she was a policy advisor to then-premier Jacques Parizeau’s agriculture minister, Marcel Landry.

Bouille’s riding, Iberville, is a largely rural riding southeast of Montreal, including part of the city of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

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