01/10/2014 05:39 EST | Updated 03/12/2014 05:59 EDT

Alberta Conservative MP Brian Jean stepping down

The Conservative MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca, Brian Jean, is resigning his seat as of Jan. 17.

Jean, who was first elected in 2004, made the announcement late Friday afternoon.

“In every job, there is a right time to move on. For me, that time has come. I’ve spent the past ten years fighting for the priorities of Northern Albertans in Ottawa and now I feel I’m needed more right here at home in Fort McMurray,”Jean wrote in a news release.

In the release, Jean says that Fort McMurray's strong economy makes him feel comfortable stepping down because he is "passing it on in great condition. He said that when he was first elected, he committed to serve seven to ten years in office to work on issues like the elimination of the long-gun firearms registry. 

"I am truly looking forward to spending more time at home with my family in Northern Alberta," he said. 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper called Jean a "strong voice for Alberta" and a valued member of caucus. He thanked him for his hard work and wished him well. 

"Brian’s wisdom and tireless work ethic will be deeply missed as our government continues to work towards strengthening our nation’s transportation and infrastructure systems," he said in a written statement.