01/16/2012 01:12 EST | Updated 03/17/2012 05:12 EDT

Steven Fletcher Taking Medical Leave From Cabinet


A junior cabinet minister is leaving cabinet temporarily to undergo medical treatment, he announced Monday.

Steven Fletcher, a Manitoba MP who holds the portfolio of minister of state for transport, posted a brief message on his website Monday announcing his leave. He does not say for what he is being treated.

Fletcher is a quadriplegic and the first permanently disabled person elected to the House of Commons. He was paralyzed when the car he was driving hit a moose.

"I will shortly be undergoing medical treatment that will require some substantial recovery time, during which I will be unable to perform all of my duties as minister of state (transport)," he said in the statement.

"I am pleased with my medical team and appreciate the support and good wishes of friends, colleagues, and constituents."

Fletcher said Transport Minister Denis Lebel will be taking over his responsibilities.

"I look forward to a making a complete recovery and to resuming all my activities," he said.

Fletcher was first elected in 2004 and represents the riding of Charleswood – St. James – Assiniboia – Headingley

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