OTTAWA – Greg Rickford says that his Blackberry has been “radio active today”. The new Minister of State for Science and Technology has been busy all day since being sworn in this morning in his new position in the Conservative Government. In an interview with NetNewsLedger, Rickford comments that the process has been exciting, however for the past week since he was informed is was a little cloak and dagger to keep out of the public eye and maintain the secrecy of cabinet building for Prime Minister Harper.
Ring of Fire Responsibilities in Rickford’s Camp
While Tony Clement remains the Senior Minister for Northern Ontario, Rickford confirms that he has responsibility for the Ring of Fire. Rickford’s experience in Northern Ontario where he has been working in the medical field as well as Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs should serve him well there.
Rickford is now not only responsible for Science and Technology, a portfolio that reportedly has had the Prime Minister looking to gather greater scope, but in addition is the Minister responsible for FedNor.
“In following Minister Tony Clement, I realize I have some big shoes to fill, and I am looking forward to the challenge, but also with working closer with Minister Clement,” stated Rickford.
Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines in Ontario states, “I’m very pleased that Prime Minister Harper has appointed Kenora MP Greg Rickford to the Federal Cabinet. I sincerely congratulate Greg on this exciting new position. Mr. Rickford and I have worked closely on many issues in the past and I am excited about the opportunities we will now have to work together on issues of great importance to all Northerners, particularly as they relate to economic development in the North.
Clearly, there is real synergy between FEDNOR and the Northern Ontario Heritage Corporation (NOHFC). But, I am also pleased that Minister Rickford has been given responsibility for the Ring of Fire. There is a very significant role the federal government can and must play with this project. I look forward to sitting down with Minister Rickford in the near future to discuss how the federal government and the Province can seize the many opportunities before us”.
Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today congratulated the Honourable Greg Rickford, on being named Minister of State, responsible for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor). “I am proud to have been the Minister responsible for FedNor over the past 7 years,” said Minister Clement. “Northern Ontario has seen unprecedented success from FedNor measures.”
Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs says, “I am ecstatic at hearing the news that MP Rickford is Minister of Fednor and point person for the Ring of Fire. Minister Rickford is a good personal friend and also knows well the North and Northwest. I look forward to working closely with Greg on issues affecting Thunder Bay and area”.
Rickford appears to be energized with the challenges ahead. Rickford has degrees in civil and common law from McGill University, and an MBA from Laval University. The Minister shares that he is going to be spending a lot of time getting a solid briefing on a number of the responsibilities, but is looking forward to the opportunities to make a solid difference in the North.
The new Minister has also welcomed a ‘New Conservative’ to the family recently, Abigail Mae Rickford, celebrating her six-week birthday on Canada Day.