Veteran Nova Scotia Scott Brison has said he will not run for re-election this year and is leaving office, prompting a move early next week.
Brison, who is on the cabinet desk as chairman of the Canadian Treasury, made the announcement online Thursday morning.
His departure leaves a vacancy on the cabinet table and the prime minister's office says the changes will be announced on Monday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about the scrambling during a stop in Kamloops Thursday, but he would not say whether he is simply looking to replace Brison or planning a major change with several ministers swapping chairs.
"Obviously this will require some changes in our office, and this is something we are going to announce on Monday," he said.
I would like to share an important family decision: I informed the Prime Minister of my decision not to seek re-election in 2019. As such, I have decided to step down as President of the Treasury Council and work with the PM to ensure a smooth transition. pic.twitter.com/JdsZTSH2HI
Whoever takes the position of chairman of the Treasury Board will be responsible for the fiscal operations of the government and for the supervision of the federal public service.
Brison spent 22 years in politics and made history as the prime minister of openly gay federal cabinet.
The father of twins said he is looking forward to spending more time with his partner and children.
"It's time to put my family first and think about new opportunities. Life begins at age 50, I'm 51, and I'm very excited about opportunities to do something different, continuing to help and serve the people of Canada and the people of kings-Hants in a different way, "he told CBC News.
"Absolutely, I'm going to miss politics, I think politics is important, I think government is important."
Brison first won the Kings-Hants place in 1997 as a progressive conservative before crossing the room in 2003, and held cabinet positions in the liberal governments of Paul Martin and Justin Trudeau. (He briefly retired as a parliamentarian, so progressive conservative leader Joe Clark could return to the House of Commons as part of his political return.)
"You stayed with me during the good times and bad times. What trip we had together," he wrote in an open letter to voters.
"You were with me in December 2002, when I left … and in December 2003, when I left again – this time as a Liberal."
Brison fought for same-sex marriage during his candidacy for the progressive conservative leadership and the 2004 election – and even publicly yelled at Elsie Wayne on the subject.
He was part of the cabinet that brought the law of same-sex marriage. He and his partner, Maxime St. Pierre, were married in 2007, making Brison the first MP to marry his same-sex partner.
In an interview with CBC at his home in Cheverie, Brison said he was proud of the role that LGBT rights play in his political legacy.
"I hope that somehow my life simply helped openly make a difference in people's lives and overturn some of the barriers that existed," he said.
"In a way, I had the unique privilege of helping to be a part of the government in helping to shape the social progress that has benefited Canadians, but also that has had a profound positive impact on my own life as a Canadian. have this opportunity and I think I was truly blessed. "
Role in the case of Norman questioned
In recent months, Brison has had to dodge questions about his role in the case of Vice Admiral Mark Norman.
Norman is accused of leaking cabinet secrets to executives at Davie shipyard in Levis, New York, in the run-up to signing a $ 668 million contract for a Navy temporary supply vessel.
Brison was criticized in the House of Commons with questions about whether he was in contact with Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax before a cabinet committee meeting at the center of the criminal case against the former Navy commander.
For 22 years he has been a tireless supporter of the people of Nova Scotia and Canada. And one of the friendliest people you'll meet in this business. @ScottBrison – Our country is better for its service and dedication. Our big thanks to you, Max & amp; the girls. pic.twitter.com/lEPqbwTLd7
He maintained that his only commitment to Irving Shipbuilding during the period in question was being copied in a letter that the company sent to four ministers extolling the virtues of its proposal.
Brison also told the House of Commons that his objection to the bill was only about his job as chairman of the Treasury Board.
Brison, along with Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and former Conservative Defense Minister Peter MacKay are all on the Crown's list of witnesses and could be called in to testify.
The trial will not begin until August – just before the next federal election campaign begins.
Best wishes and congratulations to NS MP @scottbrison who represented our Prov of NS for more than 20 years. More time for family with your @ home girls is a genuine call.
In a Canadian media interview, Brison denied that his decision to leave politics was in any way related to the Norman controversy.
"If this problem had never happened, I would be making the same decision I am taking now," he said.
Brison told CP that he is announcing his decision to allow enough time to organize a nomination race.
The former investment banker said he has not gotten a new job yet.
"My personal opinion is that the prime minister and the government are better served by the ministers who will be running in the next elections," he said.
Trudeau rushed to Twitter to praise Brison, describing him as "a tireless advocate of the people of Nova Scotia and Canada" and as "one of the friendliest people you'll meet in this business."
MacKay, who was elected the same year as Brison and defeated him at the 2003 convention, tweeted "wishes of congratulations and congratulations" to the former caucus colleague and said spending more time with the family is "a genuine call."