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Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty retires from cabinet

By Contributor
March 18th, 2014

By Huffington Post

Jim Flaherty, one of Canada’s longest-serving finance ministers, has announced his resignation from cabinet.

Flaherty, first elected in 2006 after a long career in Ontario politics, says he plans to return to the private sector.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying he had accepted Flaherty’s decision “with great reluctance.” Harper said he would name a replacement within days.

Sources tell HuffPost Canada that while Flaherty’s resignation from cabinet is effective immediately, he will stay on as an MP for now. The prime minister’s statement said that Flaherty would “eventually” return to the private sector.

“In a political career of almost 20 years, minister Flaherty has exemplified the best qualities of those who enter public life: a true commitment to service, and a sincere desire to leave the country in better shape than it was when he entered politics,” Harper said in a statement.

Flaherty reflected with his family over Christmas and confirmed during the federal budget process this would be his last one, sources told HuffPost.

Flaherty was appointed to the key economic post when the Conservative government first came to power in 2006.

He managed the country’s economy through one of its worst economic crises in 2008-2009, running up large deficits but leaving the books virtually balanced after his Feb. 11 budget.

Flaherty, who represents the Ontario riding of Whitby-Oshawa, has been struggling with health challenges over the last year. He acknowledged suffering from a rare skin condition, requiring him to take medication that led to weight gain and apparent fatigue in public appearances

He says the decision to leave politics is unrelated to his health, but is instead simply “the right decision for me and my family at this time.”

Categories: Politics

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