Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins resigns

Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Health Minister, announced Monday he is resigning his post and won't be seeking re-election in 2018.

Hoskins makes the announcement barely 3 months before election day

Eric Hoskins announced Monday he is stepping down as Ontario's health minister. (CBC)

Ontario's Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced Monday he is resigning his post and won't be running in the June provincial election.  

"In leaving Queen's Park, I am determined to continue building better healthcare for all Canadians," said Hoskins in a statement. "That path and journey will become clearer in the days ahead."

Two sources close to the announcement tell CBC News that Hoskins is resigning to become the head of a federal commission to investigate options for a national Pharmacare program.  

Hoskins is a doctor and an officer of the Order of Canada. He was first elected an MPP in 2009 in the Toronto riding of St. Paul's. He ran for the Ontario Liberal Party leadership in 2013. Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed him economic development minister in her first cabinet, then made him her health minister after the 2014 election. 

His departure will be a blow to Wynne's cabinet, as he is the fourth senior minister to announce he will not run in the election. 

In a statement immediately after his resignation was announced, Wynne said Hoskins has been "instrumental" in the province's move to make prescription drugs free for people under age 25. "There is much more work to do and I know Eric will look forward to telling you about how he will be involved," Wynne said.

Wynne announced that Helena Jaczek will become the new health minister and Michael Coteau will take on Jaczek's previous job as minister of community and social services.