Kent says he'll run again, even if shuffled from cabinet
Environment Minister Peter Kent appears at the Senate natural resources committee on April 18, 2013. (Justin Tang / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, July 5, 2013 12:35PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, July 5, 2013 1:02PM EDT
In an unusual move, Environment Minister Peter Kent said Friday it has been an honour to serve in a cabinet post, and if he loses his job in an expected upcoming cabinet shuffle, he'll be OK with that.
And regardless of what happens with his cabinet portfolio, Kent said he intends to run for re-election in 2015, noting that "political service does not begin or end in that revered body."
"Our Conservative caucus has an abundance of talented MPs and it is only appropriate that other, younger men and women should take a turn in cabinet. I will fully support the PM's eventual decisions," Kent said in a statement post to Facebook and his website.
"If, in the fullness of time and the eventual shuffle, I do find myself a backbench Parliamentarian, I will enthusiastically embrace what will be, for me, exciting new challenges."
He added that his being shuffled out of cabinet is "still officially hypothetical," but said such a development would allow him to "better devote" himself to his constituents in Toronto's Thornhill riding.
On Thursday, Leader of the Government in the Senate Marjory LeBreton announced she is resigning that post, though she intends to stay sitting as a senator. The same day, Conservative MP Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said she will not be running for re-election.
Earlier in the week, Alberta MP Ted Menzies said he wouldn't be running for re-election either, and last month Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield stepped down while he undergoes cancer treatment.
The announcements have fuelled speculation that a major cabinet shuffle is coming soon, with new faces such as Ajax-Pickering MP Chris Alexander and Calgary Centre-North MP Michelle Rempel seen as possible candidates to enter cabinet.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper had asked his MPs to notify him of their intentions for 2015 as he considers the team that will take the federal Conservative party into the next election.