Madeleine Meilleur, Ontario Attorney General, Announces Resignation

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TORONTO — Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur is resigning, the second Liberal cabinet minister to leave this week ahead of an anticipated shuffle.

In a statement Meilleur said she is stepping down both as attorney general and as MPP for her Ottawa-Vanier riding.

"This was not an easy decision, but after 25 years I have reached a point in my life where I would like to spend more time with my family and be closer to home," Meilleur wrote Thursday night.

madeleine meilleur
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur arrive for a presser at the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Photo: Frank Gunn/CP)

She will stay on until a replacement is named.

The Ontario legislature rose for its summer break Thursday and Premier Kathleen Wynne is widely expected to shuffle her cabinet soon.

Wynne thanked Meilleur - who has been Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs for 13 years - for her contributions.

"Madeleine has been a strong voice for Franco-Ontarians for over a decade and her tireless work to advance the interests of the francophone community will have a lasting impact in our province," the premier said in a statement.

"This was not an easy decision, but after 25 years I have reached a point in my life where I would like to spend more time with my family and be closer to home."

"With her experience of 25 years in politics and several cabinet positions under her belt, Madeleine is a key member on our team and will be sorely missed by all."

Meilleur, who is also a registered nurse and lawyer, has also served in cabinet as minister of culture, minister of community and social services and minister of community safety and correctional services.

In her statement she highlighted among her accomplishments making sprinklers mandatory in retirement homes, strengthening the Ontario Heritage Act and having Sept. 25 declared Franco-Ontarian Day.

Another byelection on way

Meilleur's resignation of her Ottawa-Vanier seat means Wynne will have to call a byelection. The premier already has another byelection she must call in the next couple of months, in Scarborough-Rouge River. That seat was vacated in March when backbencher Bas Balkissoon abruptly resigned.

Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Ted McMeekin also announced earlier this week he would resign when Wynne names a replacement.

McMeekin said that one of his reasons for stepping down was to help the premier achieve gender parity in cabinet. Wynne has said that in a "hypothetical" cabinet shuffle, she would like to have an equal number of men and women.

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