Earlier this hour, Jim Prentice rose on a point of order and announced his departure from federal politics. His resignation as Environment Minister is immediate and he will resign from the House by year’s end. He will then join CIBC.
His interim replacement as Environment Minister will be John Baird, the current government House leader and a former minister of the environment.
Official statement from Mr. Prentice after the jump.
After meeting with the Ethics Commissioner, I today informed the Prime Minister that I am resigning from Cabinet effective immediately. Further, I will be resigning as M.P. for Calgary Centre-North by the end of 2010.
When I entered federal politics in 2001 I made a commitment that my time in politics would last eight to ten years. It has now been nine years and it is time for me to pursue new opportunities outside of public life.
I have today accepted a position with the Canadian Imperial Bank Commerce as the Vice Chairman and Senior Executive Vice-President of the Bank effective January 1st, 2011.
This new opportunity will ensure that I continue to impact Canadian public policy but in a new capacity. My decision is based on this unique opportunity which I am eager to pursue.
My continued support for the Prime Minister, the government, and my lifelong support of the Conservative Party of Canada, like my commitment to our country, is unwavering.
I am proud of the accomplishments of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government and I am proud of my contribution. As Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development I helped negotiate the historic Residential Schools Settlement and secured reforms to Canada’s land claims system. As Minister of Industry I opened competition in the wireless industry for Canada, and achieved major changes to the Investment Canada and Competition Acts. As Minister of the Environment I am proud of our government’s action to continentalize transportation emission standards, and phase out our dated coal burning facilities. Our government also introduced Canada’s first national standards regulating the discharge of municipal waste water, and increased Canada’s National Parks by more than one third in size.
I am particularly grateful for the responsibility that the Prime Minister reposed in me as Chair of the Government Operations Committee since 2006.
I want to extend my sincere thanks to the people of Calgary Centre-North for their faith and support of me since 2004 and to all of those who have contributed their efforts to my campaigns. I thank the Prime Minister for the opportunity to serve the people of Canada in his Cabinet. It has been an honour to work with my Cabinet and Caucus colleagues, and all Members of the House of Commons.