'I've had a good run': Doug Currie resigning from politics

P.E.I. Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie is leaving provincial politics after more than a decade in the provincial legislature.

'I’ve had a wonderful career in politics'

Doug Currie's resignation is effective Thursday. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

P.E.I. Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie is leaving provincial politics after more than a decade in the provincial legislature.

His resignation, effective Thursday, was announced in a news release Thursday morning.

Currie has served in numerous portfolios, including health, social services, attorney general, and justice. He was elected in district 11, Charlottetown-Parkdale.

"I think it's time, I've had a good run," Currie told CBC.

"My decision really is about what's in the best for Doug Currie and my two girls — I don't think there's any perfect time to leave public office, but I feel excited about leaving. I feel excited about what I've accomplished."

What's next?

Currie said he knew he wasn't going to be running in the next election, so his move to resign now was done to be "respectful and fair" to the premier and the liberal party.

"I've had a wonderful career in politics, I've been able to be a part of portfolios that were in significant transformation — which I enjoy doing," he said.

Doug Currie spoke with Mainstreet host Angela Walker on Thursday. (Brian Higgins/CBC)

As for what's next for him in life outside of politics, he's uncertain and a "little nervous" about the future.

Though what he's most excited for now is taking a vacation.

"They'll make decisions on what direction they go in respect to my replacement and I wish them all the best."

The premier's office said a by-election to replace Currie will be called within six months.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac will take on education, early learning and culture in the interim following Currie's departure.

Response from Home and Schools, Opposition

"He was always very supportive of the [P.E.I. Home and School Federation], always came to our AGM, we'll miss him and we want to thank him for all he's done," said Cory Thomas, vice president of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation.

Thomas hopes the province, and Currie's successor, will continue to consult with parents, teachers and administrators regarding the school review process.

The Conservative caucus, on behalf of MLA Jamie Fox, thanked Currie for his service but brought attention to the "abrupt departure" of the senior minister.

Perennial cabinet minister

Currie was first elected to the legislature on May 28, 2007, an election which saw the Liberals, under leader Robert Ghiz, return to power for the first time in 11 years.

Currie became Ghiz's health minister and remained in the cabinet throughout his time in the legislature.

Earlier this year, with Premier Wade MacLauchlan by his side, Currie rejected the idea of closing more schools. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

As education minister, Currie moved kindergarten into the schools and more recently oversaw a major review of school infrastructure. That review concluded some schools should close, a plan that was rejected by the government.

As health minister, Currie created Health PEI, separating the administration of the province's health-care system from the Department of Health, and dealt with the contentious issue of abortions on the Island.

With files from Brian Higgins