Tim McMillan

Saskatchewan cabinet minister Tim McMillan is quitting cabinet and resigning his seat to work for Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. (CBC)

Saskatchewan cabinet minister Tim McMillan is quitting cabinet and resigning his seat to work for Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The government made the surprise announcement Thursday morning.

McMillan, the minster for rural and remote health minister, has been the MLA for Lloydminster since 2007.

He becomes president of the petroleum producers group on Oct. 1.

It wasn't an easy decision to leave politics, McMillan said.

"My biggest fear was I would get elected and get to Regina and my voice would be meaningless or that we wouldn't be able to move the province in a positive direction and that has not been my experience at all," he said.

McMillan said he would follow all of the provisions of the new Saskatchewan Lobbyists Act which requires that a former minister cannot lobby the provincial government for one year after leaving cabinet.

"CAPP is a fairly large organization," he said.

"CAPP has people who work with the different provinces directly and that's a role I won't be involved with. And I will be very clear and careful that I wouldn't do anything that would be deemed not responsible in this regard."

His departure will trigger a byelection, the province said. For the time being, Health Minister Dustin Duncan will handle McMillan's portfolio duties.