NEWS

James Moore, Conservative cabinet minister, leaving federal politics

06/19/2015 12:16 EDT | Updated 06/19/2016 05:59 EDT
Industry Minister James Moore will not be running again in the upcoming federal election in order to spend time with his family and care for his young disabled son, according to a statement released on his website Friday afternoon.

"Balancing family responsibilities while in public life is always a challenge. This is particularly true when you have a child with special needs," the statement reads.

"Recently, my wife and I received some difficult news about the health of our beautiful son Spencer."

Moore's statement continues to say he will finish his term as MP and then return home to "pursue new opportunities and be closer to my young family."

The B.C. MP is just the latest high-ranking cabinet minister to make an exit from federal politics, leaving Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a thinning army with which to capture Canadian votes over the next few months.

Most recently, Justice Minister Peter MacKay, a longtime federal MP and former leader of the Progressive Conservatives, announced he would not seek re-election. Former foreign affairs minister John Baird announced his departure in February.

Moore, 39, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2000 to represent Port Moody-Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam for the Canadian Alliance Party. The party later merged with the Progressive Conservatives to become the Conservative Party of Canada.

He has held a number of cabinet positions since the Conservatives assumed power in 2006, from a junior role as secretary of state, then heritage followed by his current industry portfolio.

As industry minister, Moore has presided over Canada's space program. The federal government recently promised to renew funding to the International Space Station, ensuring that two more Canadian astronauts will get a chance to head into space.

He also oversaw changes to Canada's telecommunications sector, including wireless spectrum auctions that attempted to encourage greater competition among carriers.

MORE:cbcNews