Saskatoon MLA Rob Norris won't run again

Another Saskatchewan Party cabinet minister says he won't be running in the next provincial election.

Advanced education minister latest to say he won't run again

Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris is leaving provincial politics. (CBC)

Another Saskatchewan Party cabinet minister says he won't be running in the next provincial election.

On Wednesday, Advanced Education Minister Rob Norris became the latest member of the government caucus to announce he's leaving provincial politics.

Norris was first elected to the Saskatoon Greystone constituency in 2007 and was re-elected in 2011.

Norris was in charge of some controversial files during his time in office. He was the Saskatchewan Party's first Labour Minister and presided over the introduction of essential services legislation that labour groups hated.

As Advanced Education minister, he spent many days dealing with financial problems at First Nations University of Canada, as well as questions of mismanagement at Carlton Trail Regional College.

In 2012, Premier Brad Wall dropped him from cabinet, but later he was brought back.

In a news release, Norris said he never saw politics as a long-term career. 

"As I turn my attention to future career options, it is time to pass the baton to another candidate - someone who will bring energy and fresh ideas into the upcoming provincial race," he said.

During a scrum with reporters at the legislature Wednesday, Norris said he has been approached about other jobs.

"I've had some preliminary conversations and probably those conversations I said I can't — in my current role — give them full consideration," Norris said, referring to his current position as a provincial cabinet minister. 

He added he is looking at positions that could touch on industry and the academic world.

"You know if I had to pick a comfort zone it would probably be right there probably on the nexus, right on the cusp, between industry and academia," he said.

Saskatchewan Party leader, and premier, Brad Wall said he asked Norris to reconsider.

"I asked him to not make the final decision," Wall said. "And eventually he just said no."

The next provincial election is scheduled to be held in 2015, but if there's a conflict with the federal election, the date will move to 2016.

In recent weeks, it's emerged that five other Saskatchewan Party MLAs will not be running again.

They include Finance Minister Ken Krawetz and Social Services Minister June Draude, who announced their intentions late last month.

Previously Darryl Hickie and Yogi Huyghebaert said they would not seek their party's nomination.

Meanwhile, Regina MLA Bill Hutchinson had wanted to run again, but failed to win the nomination in his constituency.

In 2011, 49 Saskatchewan Party candidates and nine New Democrats were elected to the legislature.

The Saskatchewan Party said Wednesday 40 of their 49 MLAs have said they will run again.