08/28/2015 12:34 EDT | Updated 08/28/2016 01:12 EDT

Deputy Ontario PC leader Christine Elliott resigns as MPP for Whitby-Oshawa

TORONTO — Former Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Christine Elliott is resigning as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Whitby-Oshawa.

A statement from Elliott says her decision to resign, which is effective immediately, was not easy.

Elliott has not been seen in the legislature since losing the party leadership race to former Barrie MP Patrick Brown last May.

Elliott, who was the deputy leader of the Progressive Conservatives, is the widow of former finance minister Jim Flaherty, who represented the same riding federally.

She was first elected to the legislature in 2006 and had also served as the party's health critic.

Brown, meanwhile, is running in a byelection next Thursday in Simcoe North in attempt to get a seat in the legislature after resigning as the MP for Barrie when he became party leader.

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The Canadian Press

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