The Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation is getting rid of nine positions.

Jared Munro, the president of MASC, wrote in a letter to employees that five positions would be cut this year with four others in the next fiscal year.

Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler says these positions were vacant even before the current government took power. Noting no one has held any of the positions since before April 2016.

“Let me be real clear that these are not cuts they are actually red tape. These positions were vacant prior to us coming into government. Part of our dialogue that we’ve had and commitment to the people that elected us, we wanted to make sure that we have the right size of public service.”

In 2016, a Fiscal Performance Review was done where it recommended a reduction of staff positions in the private sector by eight per cent.

“There’s less and less people actually going to rural offices, a lot of them do it online. It’s far more efficient for their time. Of course, we’re happy to sit down with any producer to assist them. But most of them are pretty good at technology anyway. Certainly, a new generation we see younger and younger farmers move forward will have the opportunity to help them help us and provide the best service that we can for our farm families,” Eichler said.

In the letter, Munro wrote he noted it will ‘require a strong commitment’ to adopt innovative ideas that streamline the work MASC does. 

The list of the first five positions includes Senior Credit Assistant, Program Analyst, Administrative Assistant, Regional Credit Assistant, and Records Officer.