frank whitehead

NDP MLA Frank Whitehead, who represented the Pas, said Friday he is leaving politics for personal reasons. (Manitoba government)

The NDP MLA for The Pas has retired from politics. Frank Whitehead cited health and family reasons for stepping down.

He was first elected to the legislature in 2009, after former MLA Oscar Lathlin died, and was returned to office in 2011. 

“After lengthy discussions with health professionals and my family, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from politics,” said Whitehead in a statement released by the province. “In the end I was just no longer able to put in the long hours of work and travel this important job demands. I would like to thank all the people of The Pas constituency for their support and understanding.”

Premier Greg Selinger thanked the former chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation for his five years of service as a member of the Legislative Assembly.

"The demands of public life can be very difficult, particularly for a northern MLA, and I know Frank struggled with this decision," he said. "Ultimately, health and family must come first.”

The province said a by-election to replace Whitehead will be called within the year.