NEWS

Vic Toews resigns ahead of cabinet shuffle

07/08/2013 12:11 EDT | Updated 09/07/2013 05:12 EDT
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has announced that he is retiring from politics and will resign as member of Parliament for Provencher and minister of Public Safety effective Tuesday, ahead of what is expected to be a major cabinet shuffle this summer.

"It takes a great deal of deliberation on the part of those who decide to enter politics," said Toews in a statement on Monday. "It takes an even greater amount of consideration and effort to step out of office when one still enjoys the support of those who elected them. However, for me, the time has come to step aside and begin the next chapter of my life."

As CBC's Greg Weston reported on Friday, Toews's views on criminal justice issues and attacks on political oppponents made him one of the more controversial members of Stephen Harper's cabinet.

Toews joins a growing line of Conservatives who are clearing the way for Harper to add new faces to his next federal cabinet in a widely expected shuffle.

Last week, Senator Marjory LeBreton announced her resignation as leader of the government in the Senate, while two Alberta MPs, Diane Ablonczy and Ted Menzies, announced they will not be running again in 2015. Ablonczy is the minister of state for foreign affairs, and Menzies is the minister of state for finance.

Environment Minister Peter Kent said that while he would "enthusiastically embrace" being a backbench MP if he is shuffled out of cabinet, he does intend to run again in the 2015 federal election.

Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield is battling cancer and has already asked to be relieved of his cabinet position.

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