The Honourable James E. Downey M.L.A.
Mr. Downey is the Deputy Premier of Manitoba, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism and Minister charged with the administration of the Development Corporation Act, responsibilities, he was given by Premier Gary Filmon on September 10, 1993.
Born in Melita, he has farmed in the area for over 30 years. In 1071 he and his wife Linda founded the Melita Auction Mart Ltd., which they operated until September 1977.
First elected to the Manitoba Legislature in 1977 he was appointed Minister of Agriculture and served as a member of the Treasury Board and Provincial Land Use Committee in the Manitoba government from 1977 to 1981. From 1981 to 1988, he served as Opposition Chief Critic for Agriculture, Municipal Affairs, A.E. McKenzie Seeds, Native Affairs and as Deputy Critic for Crown Investments and Natural Resources. Mr. Downey is currently a member of the Economic Development Board and Public Land Use Committee. He has been a member of Treasury Board of for seven years.
In 1988 he was sworm in as Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Native Affairs, Minister responsible for the Communities Economic Development Fund Act, Minister responsible for Channel Area Loggers Limited, Minister responsible for Moose Lake Loggers Limited, Minister responsible for the Manitoba Oil and Gas Corporation. Since 1988, he has divested the province of Channel Area Loggers, Moose Lake Loggers and the Manitoba Oil and Gas Corporation to the private sector.
In April of 1989, he has responsibility for seniors added to his Ministerial duties. Following the general election of September 1990 he was named Deputy Premier. In 1991, Mr. Downey was named Minister of Rural Development and relinquished responsibility for seniors. In January of 1992, he became the Minister of Energy and Mines while relinquishing responsibility for Rural Development.
He was awarded the President’s Medal on completion of a diploma course in Agriculture at the University of Manitoba and later graduated from Western College of Auctioneering in Billings, Montana.
On June 21, 1996, Mr. Downey received the Silver Eagle Outstanding Citizen Award from the indigenous Women’s Collective of Manitoba Inc. for his strong support of the Collective during its inception.
Mr. Downey has been active in community affairs, is a member of the Royal Canadian Legion, and a past member of the Melita Toastmasters.
He and his wife, Linda, have a son, Ryan.