Rookie MP named Bloc’s agriculture critic

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

The Bloc Quebecois has tapped a rookie Montreal-area MP from its expanded 10-member caucus to serve as its new critic for agriculture and agri-food.

Simon Marcil won the newly created riding of Mirabel in last month’s election by a spread of 837 votes over Mylene Freeman, the incumbent NDP MP for Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel and the party’s critic for the status of women.

Marcil, who until last month worked for Hydro-Quebec and acted as an information officer for his shop’s union, was also president of the Bloc executive committee for the Mirabel riding and a member of the party’s national executive.

His previous political experience included an unsuccessful run for the provincial legislature in 2012, as the Option Nationale candidate in the Labelle riding. He finished sixth among six candidates, losing to Parti Quebecois MNA Sylvain Page, a former PQ ag critic.

Among other critic posts of interest to farmers, the Bloc on Monday named another rookie, economics teacher and researcher Gabriel Ste-Marie, the MP for Joliette, as its critic for international trade, finance and industry.

One of the Bloc’s founders and former ag critics, Becancour-Nicolet-Saurel MP Louis Plamondon, will handle the transport and infrastructure file, and will also serve as caucus chair and critic for seniors. — Network

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