Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans speaks at a press conference in Vancouver, June 26, 2012.
Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
OTTAWA — Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield has been temporarily replaced in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's cabinet while he recovers from a heart attack.
Ashfield, 60, suffered the heart attack at his home in Fredericton, N.B., on the weekend. In a statement, Ashfield said he received prompt medical attention and is now in stable condition 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," Ashfield said.
While he recovers, Prince Edward Island MP Gail Shea will serve as acting minister of fisheries and oceans. Shea is also the minister of national revenue and will continue in that role.
Prior to the last election, Shea had been fisheries minister and Ashfield, who also represents the riding of Fredericton, had been the revenue minister.
"I would like to wish Minister Keith Ashfield a quick recovery to full health and look forward to welcoming him back to Ottawa," the prime minister said. "Minister Shea's previous experience in the fisheries portfolio will serve her well as she continues the work underway at the department."
Ashfield was first elected in 2008 after serving in the legislative assembly in New Brunswick where, for a time, he was a member of former premier Bernard Lord's cabinet.