Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur resigns as MPP

Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur is resigning as an MPP for the riding of Ottawa-Vanier, her office confirmed Thursday.

Ottawa-Vanier MPP first elected to Ontario legislature in 2003

Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur said she is resigning after representing Ottawa-Vanier for more than two decades. (CBC)

Ontario Attorney General Madeleine Meilleur is resigning as an MPP for the riding of Ottawa-Vanier.

In a statement released Thursday Meilleur said she told Premier Kathleen Wynne earlier this week, but said she would continue to fulfil her ministerial roles as Attorney General and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs until a replacement was selected.

Meilleur was first elected to the Ontario legislature in 2003, after more than a decade in municipal politics.

"For the past 25 years I have had the great privilege of serving the people of Ottawa-Vanier, first as a municipal councillor, and then as a member of provincial parliament," read her statement. "I want to offer my most sincere thanks to my constituents for their unwavering support."

Meilleur said in her statement she is resigning to spend more time with her family.

Cabinet shuffle expected

"This was not an easy decision, but after 25 years I have reached a point in my life where I would like to spend more time with my family and be closer to home. I have always been so proud to represent the people of Ottawa-Vanier, the most caring, diverse, and vibrant community there is," she wrote.

A spokesperson for Meilleur said that with a cabinet shuffle expected in the next week, Meilleur decided it was the right time to step down.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson called Meilleur a class act and great defender of Francophone rights. The pair worked together at Queen's Park and became good friends. 

Watson said Meilleur will be missed on the political scene, but that he understands why she might want to retire. He said her husband has health issues. 

"I can appreciate it's a pretty gruelling task to be a cabinet minister back and forth all the time to Toronto," said Watson Thursday.

"After 25 years I can see that she would want to spend some time with her family and not at the airport terminal every single Thursday and Sunday night."

Meilleur has been a cabinet minister for 13 years. Prior to her appointment as attorney general in 2014, Meilleur had previously served as the minister for community safety and correctional services, for culture and for community and social services.