Lyle Stewart resigns as agriculture minister to wage 2nd battle against cancer

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is resigning his cabinet position to undergo treatment for colon cancer.

Cabinet veteran will remain in government as MLA for Lumsden-Morse

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is stepping down from cabinet as he prepares to undergo a year of 'aggressive' cancer treatment. He will remain in government as an MLA. (Chanss Lagaden/CBC)

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart is stepping down from his Saskatchewan cabinet position as he prepares to undergo about a year of "aggressive" treatment for colon cancer. 

Stewart, who is battling cancer for the second time in his career, will remain in government as the MLA for the Lumsden-Morse riding. He beat prostate cancer back in 2014.

"This looks like it's going to be a little more protracted fight than the last one," Stewart said during Thursday's announcement at Jackfish Lodge, near Cochin, Sask. 

Stewart has been the agriculture minister since 2012, when he was appointed by former premier Brad Wall. Elected in 1999, he also served as the interim leader of the Saskatchewan Party opposition prior to the party forming government in 2007.

Stewart was one of the first members of the party. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly as the MLA for Thunder Creek in 1999.

The treatment plan will not be easy, but he says he's confident he will beat cancer once more.

Stewart will remain in cabinet until a replacement is named. The government said in a release that the new minister is expected to be named next week. 

"[Stewart] has been a very impactful voice in the cabinet room, in the caucus room and within members of government in his time, being elected in 1999," Premier Scott Moe said. 

With files from Charles Hamilton