Manitobans voted a few weeks ago for a sweeping change in government, and for a lobby organization like the MLOA, that means a whole new crew of people to work with on our issues.
There are two main ministries we tend to deal with: those concerned with fish and wildlife issues, and with tourism and small business. Our new minister in charge of fish and wildlife issues is River East’s Cathy Cox, who made her debut with the angling community by addressing the Fish Futures banquet in Winnipeg on May 5. Her legislative assistant – a kind of under-secretary who helps meet with stakeholders and advise the minister on various issues – is Swan River’s Rick Wowchuk, an experienced angler and outdoors enthusiast who is well-connected in the fish and wildlife community. We look forward to working with them both.
On the tourism and small business side, we will be working with Minister Cliff Cullen, who has had the good fortune of attending our MLOA convention in the past as an MLA. Now working as the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade, he will be assisted by Thompson’s Kelly Bindle. We understand Mr. Bindle’s butcher shop in Thompson processes wild meat and pickerel, so he sounds like our kind of guy.
Time will tell whether the new administration proves supportive and nurturing of our industry, but we are optimistic that will be the case. We would like to wish the best of luck to some of the former ministers we dealt with over the years, who have now moved on from politics, including Gord Mackintosh, Ron Lemieux, Tom Nevakshonoff and others.