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This article was published 18/1/2010 (4026 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- Manitoba Senior Cabinet Minister Vic Toews' office is denying reports he is stepping down.
Toews' spokeswoman, Christine Csversko, told the Free Press this morning a story circulating in Winnipeg is not accurate.
At least two media outlets have reported Toews could announce as early as today that he’s leaving federal politics for another career opportunity.
A federal cabinet shuffle is expected to be announced this week.
At a breakfast speech this morning hosted by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce, Toews immediately denied rumours he was leaving politics.
"And thank you to all of you for attending this morning, particularly because according to the media this will be my last day as regional minister for Manitoba before heading to the Senate," Toews said at the outset of his address. "I wish the media wouldn’t raise expectations like that in my caucus. It’s tough trying to counsel my colleagues after they’ve been let down again."
Following his address, Toews was more definitive about his immediate future. "I’m not going to the Senate. I’m not retiring. I’m not going to the bench. I’m not leaving politics."
As for Toews’ fate in a cabinet shuffle, the veteran MP and minister said he has not been told by the prime minister that there is going to be any change in his job description. "I serve at the pleasure of the prime minister."
Toews, 57, has been Manitoba's senior minister for the last four years. He was first appointed justice minister in 2006, when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives took power.
A year later he was moved to become the Treasury Board president. Toews has been the MP for Provencher since 2000.
Prior to that he was an MLA and cabinet minister in Gary Filmon's provincial Tory government.
His future in the Harper government has been questioned for years, particularly as he seemed to be sidelined from the front and centre justice job into the more low profile Treasury Board.
In 2008, his name was being vetted for a possible appointment to the Manitoba bench though the appointment never materialized and Toews always claimed he wasn't looking to become a judge.
Born and raised in and around Toronto, Dan Lett came to Winnipeg in 1986, less than a year out of journalism school with a lifelong dream to be a newspaper reporter.