ALBERTA

Jonathan Denis, Alberta Justice Minister Resigns Over Court Action With Wife

04/25/2015 05:40 EDT | Updated 06/25/2015 05:59 EDT
CALGARY - Alberta's justice minister has stepped down in the middle of the provincial election campaign.

An Alberta government news release quotes Premier Jim Prentice saying that he learned on Saturday morning that "legal proceedings have commenced between Jonathan Denis and his estranged wife."

Prentice says in the release that given the involvement of the courts, he asked for and received Denis' resignation as justice minister and solicitor general.

Agriculture Minister Verlyn Olson will take on the job "for the time being."

Premier's office spokeswoman Janice Schroeder didn't have any further details of what the "legal proceedings" involved, and the PC campaign office would not elaborate on the matter when reached on Saturday afternoon.

Denis issued a statement on Saturday where he explains he resigned because of a "court action involving a personal family matter" but will continue to be the PC candidate for Calgary-Acadia.

"My wife and I have had difficulties in our marriage over the last several months. I am very saddened by these recent circumstances," Denis said in the statement.

"This is a very difficult time for my family and I, and I would ask for respect for our privacy on this matter while it's being resolved."

Denis said it wouldn't be appropriate for him to continue as justice minister and solicitor general while the matter is being resolved.

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