OTTAWA — Winnipeg South Centre MP Jim Carr says he’d welcome staying on as a cabinet minister, despite battling a form of blood cancer.
"The prime minister has the big picture; I'm really happy and I feel terrific," Carr told reporters Thursday. "I feel so well-treated, not only by the nurses and the doctors, but by all the goodwill that I'm feeling."
Carr said he’d be open to any role the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau picks for him, based on his background and constituency. The Winnipeg MP has served as minister of natural resources (2015-18) and minister of international trade diversification (2018-19).
The 68-year-old revealed two weeks ago he’d been diagnosed with cancer the day after the Oct. 21 election. That vote ended with the Liberals losing most of their Prairie seats, with Carr the sole remaining cabinet minister from the region.
Carr is undergoing chemotherapy for multiple myeloma, as well as dialysis treatment for related kidney issues.
"I’m just, in my life now, going through a moment where I think it's bringing out that yearning for unity and for civility in politics," Carr said Thursday, heading into the first caucus meeting since the vote.
"There is a time for a nation to come together, and that time is now."
The Liberals lost three of their seven seats previously held in the Manitoba capital. Winnipeg South MP Terry Duguid, who kept his seat, is seen by some Liberals as a possible pick for Trudeau’s cabinet, if the prime minister adds another local or replaces Carr for the Nov. 20 swearing-in.
Duguid chalked up the party’s Winnipeg loses to anxieties related to the resource sector.
"I think we felt some of the effects of what you saw in Alberta and Saskatchewan," he said. "I just really think we have to address western anxieties; western issues."