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ADQ names replacement ag critic

Gone from the official opposition benches back to third-party status, Action democratique Quebec (ADQ) has doubled up its remaining members’ critic duties.

Janvier Grondin, the MNA for the Beauce-Nord riding, will take on the agriculture, fisheries and food portfolio along with municipal and regional affairs and transportation in his critic responsibilities. He will also be the ADQ’s caucus chairman.

As ag critic, Grondin replaces Albert De Martin, a corn, soy and wheat grower who was defeated in his Huntingdon riding in the Dec. 8 provincial election.

Grondin, a former mayor of St. Jules, was a director with the provincial farmers’ organization, the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), from 1986 to 1988. He was vice-president of the provincial legislature’s ag, fisheries and food committee from May 2007 onward, and an ag committee member from late 2004 through most of 2005.

Grondin’s appointment, announced Friday by outgoing ADQ leader Mario Dumont, comes the day after Premier Jean Charest re-appointed Laurent Lessard as his minister for agriculture, fisheries and food.

Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois said Thursday she would announce critic responsibilities for the official opposition PQ within the next few weeks. Sylvain Page, the PQ’s ag critic before Dec. 8, was re-elected in his riding.

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