11/30/2011 06:20 EST | Updated 01/30/2012 05:12 EST

Francis Fox: Senator Resigns, Cites Family Reasons


OTTAWA - Francis Fox, the father of Telefilm Canada and the Access to Information Act, has resigned from the Senate.

The Liberal Quebec senator cited personal and family reasons for his withdrawal from political life three years before the end of his term.

A family member is seriously ill.

His resignation will take effect on Friday, his 72nd birthday.

The Trudeau-era cabinet minister served 12 years in Parliament and six as a senator.

He was communications minister when he introduced the landmark Access to Information Act on July 17, 1980, although it only passed in 1982.

He had also been solicitor general and was a rising star in the Trudeau government; but he was forced to temporarily resign on Jan. 27, 1978, after acknowledging in public that he had forged the signature of his girlfriend's husband on a hospital form so she could get an abortion.