News Local

New critic responsibilities for MLAs

Greg Vandermeulen

Emerson MLA Cliff Graydon was handed a new shadow cabinet portfolio on Dec. 14, and although two days after the announcement was made, he wasn't sure what it all entails, he said he's ready for whatever Hugh McFadyen assigns him.

"I do like a challenge," he said. "I enjoyed what I had before."

Graydon was most recently the agriculture critic, a position that has gone to Midland MLA Blaine Pedersen.

Cliff Graydon has been given the shadow portfolio of cooperative development, with responsibilities for lotteries and gaming.

He wasn't sure what cooperative development all entails, but Graydon said despite enjoying the agriculture portfolio, he's ready to move on.

"I think it's a good thing when critic roles are changed," he said. "It gives you a broader perspective. You better understand what other portfolios are and it rounds you out as an individual."

When it comes to lotteries and gaming, Graydon said his priority is in ensuring Manitobans are protected.

"You want to see the human side addressed, the addictions side," he said. "The big challenges in my mind are the addictions and the family challenges that arise."

Graydon said he likes what he sees in the new cabinet.

Graydon said Blaine Pedersen will do an excellent job in the agriculture portfolio. "With 19 (PC MLAs), 13 that are rural, you have quite a depth of agriculture experience," he said.

Former AMM president Stu Briese has been given the local government, and emergency measures portfolio. "He has done a great job in the past," Graydon said.

Reg Helwer gets the Manitoba Hydro and MPI portfolio which Graydon said is no easy task. "That will be quite a challenge," he said. "But he's up to the challenge."

Graydon also mentioned Ralph Eichler as infrastructure and transportation critic, Cameron Friesen as education critic, Dennis Smook as consumer affairs critic and Wayne Ewasko as aboriginal and northern affairs critic as people that are equipped for their roles.

"I think we've got a great team to go forward," he said.

Morris MLA Mavis Taillieu is culture, heritage, tourism and multiculturalism critic.