British Columbia's cabinet minister who lead the charge on Premier Christy Clark's all-important jobs plan is leaving politics for medical reasons, but Pat Bell has agreed to stay on in his current role until the upcoming May election.
Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Minister Bell announced Sunday he will not seek another term as MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie, in northern B.C., after medical tests picked up a rare type of aneurysm.
A cardiac specialist is monitoring the size of his problem, which may require ongoing checkups or surgery if it grows.
"This is a critical and compelling time for our province and it's equally critical that our team members are able to focus 100 per cent of their attention on the task at hand," he said in a release.
"With my diagnosis, I need to turn my mind to my personal health and this would take my attention away from my responsibilities as your MLA."
Bell, who has spent 12 years in provincial politics, said he informed the premier of his decision and accepted her request for him to continue his existing responsibilities until the province goes to the polls.
His announcement comes just ahead of the provincial budget on Tuesday.