OTTAWA – Long-time Conservative MP Gerry Ritz is leaving federal politics, he announced Thursday morning.
In a statement posted to his Twitter account, Ritz said he is not returning to his seat in the House of Commons this fall.
Ritz has been the MP for Battlefords-Lloydminster, Sask., for 20 years.
“It has been a sincere honour and privilege to serve the people of Battlefords-Lloydminster; I thank them for the confidence they placed in me for the past 20 years,” Ritz said.
STATEMENT: Today I am announcing my intent to resign as the Member of Parliament for Battlefords-Lloydminster. pic.twitter.com/4CdrkGEcX7
— Gerry Ritz (@GerryRitzMP) August 31, 2017
First elected as Reform Party MP in 1997, Ritz 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 have been in opposition, Ritz had been international trade critic, a position Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer gave to Ontario MP Dean Allison when he unveiled his critic roster Wednesday.
Ritz also thanked his House and Senate colleagues, as well as the staff and public servants he worked with over the years.