Stockwell Day, Chuck Strahl to quit politics
Two federal cabinet ministers — Treasury Board President Stockwell Day and Transport Minister Chuck Strahl — announced Saturday that they're leaving federal politics.
Day and Strahl, both members of Parliament from British Columbia, said they won't run in the next election, which many observers expect is coming soon.
A third Conservative MP from the province, John Cummins, also announced retirement plans.
Day's announcement comes almost exactly 25 years after he was first elected to public office as a member of Alberta's legislature in Red Deer North. In 2000, he was elected leader of the newly formed Canadian Alliance party and MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla in B.C.
"It is time to move on," said Day, who led the former Canadian Alliance party.
As a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he has held the portfolios of Public Safety and International Trade.
Strahl, the MP for Chilliwack and the Fraser Canyon, quoted Ecclesiastes — "To everything there is a season" — but otherwise didn't explain why he has decided to retire. The cancer survivor said his health has not been an issue.
Harper thanked all three men for their public service.
"I would like to thank ministers Chuck Strahl and Stockwell Day, as well as member of Parliament John Cummins for their extraordinary dedication to public service throughout the years," Harper said in a statement Saturday.
"I look forward to working with them in the best interest of Canada until the end of their mandate."
Just how long the Conservative mandate will last has been the subject of speculation in Ottawa for days.
"I hold out a slim hope that it might be another year or more away, though the Opposition seems determined to force [an election] soon," Strahl, first elected 17 years ago, said in a letter to his constituency.
Strahl has also served as minister of agriculture and Indian affairs.