Longtime MLA Eichler calling it quits after 2 decades in Manitoba legislature

Ralph Eichler, Manitoba's minister of economic development and training speaks to reporters in Winnipeg on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Steve Lambert

Another member of Heather Stefanson’s government is calling it quits.

Former Manitoba cabinet minister Ralph Eichler announced his decision Tuesday to step down after his current term, making him the third high-profile Tory to pack it in in recent months.

Eichler’s MLA colleagues Scott Fielding and Eileen Clarke both announced their decisions to leave politics earlier this year.

Throughout his career in politics, Eichler has served as minister of agriculture, economic development and training, economic development and jobs, and, most recently, agriculture and resource development, until a cabinet shuffle under then-premier Brian Pallister in early 2022.

Eichler, 72, said he intends to serve out the remainder of his term and stay in office until the next provincial election, which is scheduled for Oct. 3 of next year. He said he’s making the announcement now to give the PCs time to find a new candidate in the Lakeside constituency, which he’s held for two decades.

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Read more: Former Manitoba finance minister Fielding quits politics Monday

“I want to keep our seat in Lakeside a conservative seat,” Eichler said Tuesday.

“They have to have time to find somebody. I know the premier has been pushing us to make a decision, and I want to support as much as I can.”

Eichler said Tuesday he looks forward to spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren in retirement.

“I had a bit of a health scare last year and I couldn’t be in better shape now,” he said.

“I listened to the doctors and I’ve lost 40-some pounds. I feel fantastic so let’s take advantage of it and move on to some things on my bucket list.”

— with files from The Canadian Press

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