A byelection will be held for the seat of former Saskatchewan MP Gerry Ritz sometime before spring.

Ritz, who held the riding of Battlefords-Lloydminster since 1997, announced his retirement at the end of August. His retirement took effect Oct. 2. 

Elections Canada said a byelection must be called between Oct. 14 and April 1, 2018.

Byelection periods must last at least 36 days, which means the earliest date the byelection could be held would be Nov. 20.

The former Minister of Agriculture for the Harper government had been under fire in recent weeks after he referred to Liberal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna as "climate Barbie" on Twitter.

The tweet was later deleted and Ritz issued an apology.