Lyle Stewart announced on Thursday morning that he will be stepping down as Saskatchewan’s Minister of Agriculture to focus on his battle with cancer.

“I was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer and will be undergoing several months of pretty aggressive treatment,” Stewart said. “Agriculture is a very important portfolio in this province and it has been a tremendous honour to serve as Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister under two great Premiers over the past six years. However, given my current circumstances, I didn’t feel I would be able to give that position the attention it deserved, so I have asked Premier Moe to appoint a new Minister.”

Premier Scott Moe says that Stewart is a loss to the cabinet, but his first concern is for his health. Moe also said that he is expecting to name a new Agriculture Minister next week.

“First and foremost, Lyle Stewart is my friend, so the most important thing is for him to deal with his cancer,” Moe said. “Everything else is secondary. Lyle has been a great Agriculture Minister and I want to thank him for everything he has done for the Ag industry in our province.”

Stewart will be staying on as Agriculture Minister until another minister is appointed. He will also remain as the MLA for Lumsden Morse.