Saskatchewan’s agriculture minister has a new legislative secretary to oversee the performance of provincial and federal/provincial ag programs.
In a provincial cabinet shuffle Friday, Arm River-Watrous MLA Greg Brkich was named legislative secretary to the minister of agriculture for the Agriculture Programs Innovation Initiative.
Brkich, who operates a mixed farm at Bladworth, about 90 km south of Saskatoon, is also the legislature’s deputy speaker.
Melville-Saltcoats MLA Bob Bjornerud remains the provincial agriculture minister and minister responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp.
Brkich, in an interview Friday, said he hadn’t yet spoken to Bjornerud about the specifics of the secretary posting. His role, he said, will be to monitor farm programs, speak with Saskatchewan farmers and look at “how we can keep the programs in tune with what’s happening in agriculture.”
The job may also involve conducting reviews of particular programs, he said.
The province last year ran a major review of its crop insurance programming and also announced plans to deliver the federal/provincial AgriStability program to Saskatchewan farmers through its own ag ministry, rather than through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Brkich and the other seven MLAs appointed as legislative secretaries Friday will not receive any extra pay for their secretary duties, the province noted.