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Justin Trudeau to name Atlantic Canada MP as advisor for region’s development

Melanie Joly is sworn in as Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages during the swearing in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.
Melanie Joly is sworn in as Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages during the swearing in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appoint an MP from Atlantic Canada to assist Melanie Joly‘s oversight of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Global News has confirmed.

The decision comes amid criticism from Atlantic Canadians about the lack of regional representation on one of the most important federal organizations in the region.

READ MORE: Jordan, LeBlanc among 4 MPs from Atlantic Canada named to federal cabinet

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is tasked with assisting growth in one of Canda’s most economically depressed regions.

An MP has yet to be selected but Trudeau will have a number of options to choose from after the Liberals won 26 seats in Atlantic Canada in the 2019 election.

Dartmouth’s Spring Loaded Technology gets ACOA funding
Dartmouth’s Spring Loaded Technology gets ACOA funding

Whoever is chosen will report to Joly, the newly appointed minister of economic development and official languages.

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Conservative Rob Moore, MP for Fundy-Royal, said the decision is an example of Trudeau’s government “taking Atlantic Canada for granted.”

“Appointing an MP who has no ability to approve projects and no seat at the cabinet table to ‘advise’ the Minister is simply not good enough,” Moore said.

In addition to naming a parliamentary secretary for ACOA, Trudeau is also expected to soon name parliamentary secretarys for the other regional development agencies that Joly is responsible for, including the Western Economic Development Corp. and the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.

Joly was in Moncton on Tuesday to become familiarized with the new file.

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