03/18/2014 04:15 EDT | Updated 05/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Jim Flaherty, federal finance minister, quits politics

Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has resigned to work in the private sector, he announced in a news release Tuesday.

"Yesterday, I informed the prime minister that I am resigning from cabinet. This was a decision I made with my family earlier this year, as I will be returning to the private sector," Flaherty said in a statement.

"I am grateful to Prime Minister Stephen Harper for providing me with the opportunity and responsibility to serve Canadians as their minister of finance since 2006, one of the longest serving finance ministers in Canadian history. As a government, we achieved great things for Canada and I could never have accomplished what I have as finance minister without the full support of Prime Minister Harper."

Flaherty has spent more than a year dealing with health issues and has faced repeated questions about whether he would retire.

More to come