Frank Whitehead, the NDP MLA for The Pas, has resigned his seat due to health and family reasons.
Whitehead was first elected in a 2009 byelection following the death of former MLA Oscar Lathlin. He was re-elected in the 2011 general election.
"After lengthy discussions with health professionals and my family, I’ve made the difficult decision to retire from politics," Whitehead said in a press release. "In the end I was just no longer able to put in the long hours of work and travel this important job demands. I would like to thank all the people of The Pas constituency for their support and understanding."
Whitehead is former Chief of Opaskwayak Cree Nation and also served as political advisor to former Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Ron Evans. He previously served several organizations including Swampy Cree Tribal Council, New Careers North, Cree Nation Tribal Centre, and the First Nation Land Management Advisory Board.
"I’d like to thank Frank for serving the people of the Pas for the last five years as a member of the Legislative Assembly," Premier Greg Selinger said in a statement. "The demands of public life can be very difficult, particularly for a northern MLA, and I know Frank struggled with this decision. Ultimately, health and family must come first."
A byelection must be called to replace Whitehead within one year.