A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that Gail Shea will serve as Acting Minister of Fisheries and Oceans while Minister Keith Ashfield recovers from a heart attack.
“I would like to wish Minister Keith Ashfield a quick recovery to full health and look forward to welcoming him back to Ottawa,” said the Prime Minister. “Minister Shea’s previous experience in the Fisheries portfolio will serve her well as she continues the work underway at the department.”
Minister Shea retains her duties as Minister of National Revenue.
Update 4:28pm. A statement from Mr. Ashfield.
“This weekend I suffered a heart attack while at home in Fredericton. Thanks to prompt medical attention I am now in stable condition and awaiting bypass surgery. While I am assured of a full and complete recovery, my doctors have advised me that I will require several weeks of rest and recuperation.
“Given the length of my recovery, I have recommended to the Prime Minister that he appoint an acting Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. I am pleased that the Honourable Gail Shea, our Minister of National Revenue and a fellow Maritimer, has agreed to take my place.
“While I am focused on my recovery, I look forward to returning to Ottawa and getting back to work.
“In the meantime, I can assure my constituents that my staff here in Fredericton will continue to provide them with the excellent service to which they have become accustomed.
“As always, I would like to thank my family and friends for their love and support.