Source: Dairy Farmers of Ontario
On March 1, 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a new minister of agriculture and agri-food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, who previously served as minister of international development. Bibeau replaces Lawrence MacAulay, who has moved to veterans affairs. The Compton–Stanstead member of Parliament (MP) will be the first female agriculture minister in Canadian history.
Marie-Claude Bibeau’s bio and mandate
Bibeau was elected as the MP for the Compton—Stanstead riding, in Quebec, in October 2015. She has served as a minister since 2015.
Bibeau began her career at the Canadian International Development Agency, where she went on postings to Morocco and Benin. After settling down with her family in Quebec’s eastern townships, she became a successful businesswoman and was actively involved in her community.
In her formal role as minister of international development, she helped refocus Canada’s international assistance on helping the poorest and most vulnerable people and supporting fragile states. In June 2017, after several months of consultations, Bibeau launched Canada’s new feminist international assistance policy. This innovative new vision will make Canada a leader in the fight against poverty by prioritizing gender equality in the country’s international assistance programming.
Supported by this new policy, Bibeau advocated for actions and initiatives that empowered women and girls, and defended their rights. As well, she was at the heart of Canada’s strategy for implementing the objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, both at home and around the world.
In helping Canada exercise its leadership on global health issues, she played a key role in ensuring Canada hosted the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Montreal in September 2016. She was also instrumental in ensuring Canada will host the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, which will bring together 6,000 people.
In her current role, Bibeau’s overarching goal is to support the agricultural sector so it can lead the way in job creation and innovation. Knowing Canada’s farmers, ranchers and food processors are the foundation of the food sector, Bibeau will aim to help Canada’s agriculture sector be safer, stronger and more innovative.