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Letnick takes over agriculture

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA, Norm Letnick will be sworn in as the province's new Agriculture Minister later today.

Premier Christy Clark made the surprise announcement Friday morning.

In a brief statement, Clark says “The protection of farmland and support for farming families is a priority for this government, and Norm brings a wealth of experience as a former Minister of Agriculture.

I want to thank Pat Pimm for leading an ambitious agenda to strengthen and grow B.C.’s agriculture industry. Right now, he needs to focus on his family, his health and recovery.”

This is Letnick's second turn as Agriculture Minister. He was handed the portfolio in September 2012.

“I get my old job back,” laughs Letnick, who says Clark asked him Thursday afternoon to take on the role.

“She had a conversation with Minister Pimm, who we all know is battling cancer and through that conversation realized he wouldn’t be back for some time. She asked me if I would take on the role, and of course I said yes.”

Letnick says he has a lot of work to do, having lost the position nearly a year ago. 

“It's not the way anyone wants to get a job like this, but I’m going to do my best to make sure that agriculture is well represented at the cabinet table."

He is also grateful to the premier for asking him to join her cabinet.

“There’s a big difference between the atmosphere in a caucus room since the election, it’s very positive, it’s very constructive. Every member of caucus is valued and their opinions are valued and everyone is rowing in the same direction. 

Pimm, who will continue to serve as MLA for Peace River North, took over the agriculture portfolio after the Liberal election last year.

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