GUYSBOROUGH – Guysborough-Tracadie MLA Greg Morrow has been appointed as the province’s new agriculture minister.
As the newly-elected Progressive Conservative government settled into Province House, MLAs from all parties were sworn in on Aug. 30, with Premier Tim Houston’s first cabinet named and sworn in on the following day (Aug. 31).
Morrow spoke to The Journal about his cabinet post on Sept. 2, just after getting a tour of his new Halifax office.
Prior to his election on Aug. 17, he was a reporter and radio news director at 101.5 the Hawk in Port Hawkesbury. With a background in journalism and communications, Morrow doesn’t appear to be an obvious choice for the agriculture portfolio.
But, he said, “I’m a good listener and a good communicator. If members of the industry, stakeholders, department staff, if they have issues, I have no problem listening to their concerns and bringing them to the cabinet table.”
He added that, although he doesn’t have first-hand experience in agriculture, he lives, “in a rural area, so there’s lots of farms around me. Look, when the premier calls and asks you to serve in cabinet, you accept, which I did. And I’m ready to learn. I’m ready to dive in headfirst into this and get up to speed on everything going on in the department … and learning what I can do to help.
“There’s a long history of cabinet ministers in this province [whose] portfolio doesn’t match their background. But I believe that if you work hard and you’re a good communicator, you’ll do just fine. We’ve seen that time and time again,” said Morrow.
Morrow added that he would draw on the experience of fellow cabinet ministers, particularly John Lohr, who served as opposition agriculture critic in the previous Liberal government.
When asked what challenges face agriculture in the province, Morrow said, “This is an area where I am going to rely on the stakeholders. I am going to rely on the people on the ground and the staff around me to get me up to speed on what their challenges are and be a strong voice for those challenges.”
Asked to comment on the first week in government, Morrow said, “It is an exciting time. We worked hard over the past couple of months, both me personally and the party, to be in the position where I could be the MLA for Guysborough-Tracadie, and we could be the governing party of Nova Scotia; and both of those things have happened. At the request of the premier, I was asked to join cabinet and I am honoured to do so. It’s a huge thrill and a learning curve … I have no doubt in my mind that I am up for the task.”