Former premier Brian Pallister has resigned as the MLA for Fort Whyte.
In a news release issued Monday by the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba caucus, Pallister said he gave written notice to house Speaker Myrna Driedger informing her of his immediate resignation.
There was no mention in the release of when a byelection to fill the vacant southwest Winnipeg seat will take place.
It is up to government to decide the timing of the byelection, but it must happen within six months of the vacancy, said political expert Paul Thomas.
"The riding is a safe one for the PCs, so it will be left vacant until after a winner is declared in the (party) leadership contest," the University of Manitoba political studies professor emeritus said Monday.
On Oct. 30, PC party members will elect a new leader: either Tuxedo MLA Heather Stefanson or former Conservative MP Shelly Glover. One of the two women will be sworn in as Manitoba's next premier.
"Were Glover to win, she might be given the nomination to allow her to enter the legislature as soon as possible," Thomas said.
"Living outside the riding happens more often these days than in previous decades," he said of Glover who is not a resident of Fort Whyte. "If it was arranged to have her nominated, it might require other potential candidates to step aside in the interest of the party."
Resigning his seat now spares Pallister, 67, from having to return to the house when it is back in session Wednesday.
In the PC news release, Pallister said it was precisely 10 years ago, on the eve of the 2011 provincial election, he chose to seek the leadership of the PC party because he believed he could lead a team that would fix the finances, repair the services and rebuild the economy of Manitoba.
In 2012, he was appointed party leader and won a byelection for the Fort Whyte seat.
Under his leadership, the Tories won majority governments in 2016 and 2019.
"As government, we created the largest ongoing per person investment in health care, education and family services of any province to protect the vulnerable. We lowered the tax burden on working Manitobans, seniors and families to help make life more affordable, and we did this while moving away from dangerous deficits and debt to balance."
The province is poised to recover "strongly and safely" from the COVID-19 pandemic, Pallister said. The former premier said he is proud of encouraging more women to become involved in public life and excited Manitoba is about to have its first premier who is a woman.
"Again, I am incredibly optimistic about our future as a province and that is why I believe the only thing better than today in Manitoba, is tomorrow in Manitoba."
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.