Tory MP Menzies won’t seek re-election

Another seat has opened up around Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet table with the news that Alberta Conservative MP and junior minister Ted Menzies won’t be running in the next federal election.

CLARESHOLM — Another seat has opened up around Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet table with the news that Alberta Conservative MP and junior minister Ted Menzies won’t be running in the next federal election.

Menzies, whose current portfolio is minister of state for finance, announced Tuesday that he wants to spend more time in his home province — and that he doesn’t want to be a cabinet minister.

Menzies said he’s been travelling throughout his riding of Macleod since widespread flooding devastated the area in June and he’s been struck by what he’s seen.

His riding includes the hard-hit town of High River, where all 13,000 residents were told to evacuate during the floods.

“Witnessing the effects of the floods across southern Alberta, and the devastation of High River and other communities, I have decided that it is important for me to be here more often,” Menzies said in a statement.

“What brought me to Ottawa was a love of community and the desire to help Albertans and Canadians the best way I knew possible.”

For that reason, Menzies said, he won’t seek re-election in 2015 in his riding, but plans to continue to sit as an MP until then.

“For the next two years I will continue to do all I can for Macleod, here in the riding and in Ottawa,” he said.

“Because of this decision, I have asked Prime Minister Harper not to consider my name for any future cabinet position.”

Menzies was first elected in 2004 and became Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s second-in-command in 2011.

In a statement, Flaherty thanked Menzies for his service, noting his involvement in reforms to pension legislation and consumer finance issues.

“On a personal note, he was a great and trustworthy partner who I could always count on to represent the voice of everyday Canadians,” Flaherty said.

“His contributions will be missed.”

Flaherty, who has been dealing with health issues of late, is another minister whose name has been mentioned among those who might not survive a cabinet shuffle expected later this month.

For his part, the finance minister has made it clear he’d like to stay on, though it’s unclear whether he’ll run for office again in 2015.

In advance of the shuffle, the prime minister has been quietly making inquiries as to who in his caucus intends to run in the next election and who is stepping aside.

The request by Menzies to be left out of the mix reflects one of the goals of the shake-up: to put in place a cabinet which will take the party to, and through, the next general election.

Harper posted a message to Menzies via his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“Thank you, Ted Menzies for helping to build a stronger Canada,” the post read. “Our loss is your community’s gain.”

Menzies’ announcement creates a least a second spot for Harper to fill; Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield said in June that he’s asked to be left out of the next cabinet after being diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma.

Harper could also choose to appoint a new intergovernmental affairs minister.

Former minister Peter Penashue resigned in March — and lost in a subsequent byelection — after concerns emerged about his election spending.

His portfolio is being handled by Transport Minister Denis Lebel.

Just Posted

1,200 runners came out to Woody’s RV Marathon in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Matthew Hope ran in the Woody’s RV World Marathon for… Continue reading

Two men steal 16 year old’s car at gunpoint in Alberta

RCMP are looking for two men who allegedly produced a handgun and… Continue reading

Mother of five who died in hit and run in central Alberta a huge loss to family, police say

Rocky Mountain House RCMP continue to investigate hit and killed case on… Continue reading

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

EDMONTON — Environmental groups targeted by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are shrugging… Continue reading

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says two people are dead after… Continue reading

WATCH: First Red Deer Market of 2019

The event is held every Saturday in the Servus Arena parking lot

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Speaker stuns Morehouse grads, to pay off $40M student debt

A billionaire technology investor stunned the entire graduating class at Morehouse College… Continue reading

Unions increasingly at odds over replacing troubled Phoenix pay system

OTTAWA — The federal team charged with finding a replacement for the… Continue reading

Sisters of Ste-Anne hold unique garage sale before giving up Montreal convent

MONTREAL — The Montreal-area Sisters of Ste-Anne are hosting a unique garage… Continue reading

Canadian pilot Patrick Forseth killed in Honduras plane crash: sister

TRUJILLO, Honduras — A British Columbia woman says her pilot brother was… Continue reading

As states pass restrictive abortion laws, questions surface

ATLANTA — As multiple states pass laws banning many abortions, questions have… Continue reading

Pelosi being honoured with JFK Profile in Courage Award

BOSTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is being honoured with the 2019… Continue reading

India’s marathon national election reaches the finish line

KOLKATA, India — Voting in India’s mammoth national election ended Sunday with… Continue reading

Most Read