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Rookie Que. MP named NDP deputy ag critic

One of Jack Layton’s crop of rookie Quebecois members of Parliament will back up southern Ontario MP Malcolm Allen in the New Democrats’ shadow cabinet.

Jean Rousseau, the MP for the Sherbrooke-area riding of Compton-Stanstead, was named Thursday as the new official Opposition’s deputy critic for agriculture and agri-food.

Rousseau, 50, is an independent concert and event promoter by profession. His credits include the 1992 Festival Alternatif de Sherbrooke and a benefit in Sherbrooke for victims of the 1998 ice storm.

Born at Asbestos, he studied industrial relations at Laval University and has been an accredited industrial relations counselor since 2009.

May’s general election marked Rousseau’s second run for the NDP in Compton-Stanstead, where in 2008 he had placed fourth behind Bloc Quebecois MP France Bonsant. Rousseau defeated Bonsant in May by almost 11,000 votes.

Other NDP deputy critic appointments Thursday of interest to farmers include the following, all rookies from the party’s 58-member Quebec caucus:

  • Pontiac MP Mathieu Ravignat, who ran unsuccessfully for the party in Quebec in 1997, named deputy critic for international trade;
  • Beauharnois-Salaberry MP Anne Minh-Thu Quach, named deputy health critic;
  • Vaudreuil-Solanges MP Jamie Nicholls, named deputy transport, infrastructure and communities critic; and
  • Riviere-des-Mille-Iles MP Laurin Liu, as deputy environment critic.

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