OTTAWA – Conservative cabinet minister Ted Menzies announced Tuesday he won’t be running in the 2015 election and has asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper to take his name out of a widely-expected cabinet shuffle this month.
Menzies, who represents the Southern Alberta riding Macleod, said in a release the decision comes as he witnessed the effects of the floods in Alberta and the devastation of High River in other communities.
“I have decided that it is important for me to be here more often,” he said. “What brought me to Ottawa was a love of community and the desire to help Albertans and Canadians the best way I knew possible.”
The Minister of State for Finance also said he’s asked Harper not to consider his name for any future cabinet position.
Menzies said he’ll continue to represent his riding until the election, but won’t seek the Conservative nomination in 2015 when the riding becomes Foothills due to electoral boundary changes.
“In the future, I am confident that a man or woman of thoughtful conviction will come forward with energy and enthusiasm to run in the new riding in 2015,” he said.
“I am so incredibly proud and honoured to represent the constituents of Macleod and I am proud of our government.”
Menzies’ office said he would not be giving interviews about his decision.
In a statement, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty thanked Menzies for seven years of service on the finance file, including his work during the economic downturn, representing Canada internationally and as a “major force” in pension reform.
“On a personal note, he was a great and trustworthy partner who I could always count on to represent the voice of everyday Canadians. His contributions will be missed,” said Flaherty.
Menzies is the second minister to step away from cabinet consideration in recent weeks. Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield took his name out of the running for cabinet in June after revealing he had been diagnosed with cancer, but said he’ll continue as a Member of Parliament.
Menzies was first elected in 2004 and has served as parliamentary secretary to the ministers of finance, international trade and international cooperation.
© 2013 Shaw Media