Saskatchewan Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster Gerry Ritz announced his resignation Thursday morning.
Ritz made the announcement on social media and said he will not be returning to his seat in the House of Commons this fall. “It has been a sincere honour and privilege to serve the people of Battlefords-Lloydminster,” Ritz said in a statement. “I thank them for the confidence they have placed in me for the past 20 years.
Ritz was one of the longest serving Conservative members of parliament. He was first elected in 1997 as a member of the Reform Party and became minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food in 2007 under then prime minister Stephen Harper, and held that cabinet post until the Liberals formed government in 2015. Since the Conservatives became official opposition, Ritz had been international trade critic, a position Scheer gave to Ontario MP Dean Allison when he unveiled his shadow cabinet Wednesday.
Ritz has not yet stated what prompted him to announce his resignation.