Jim Wilson, Ontario’s minister of economic development, job creation and trade, has resigned to seek treatment for “addiction issues.”
The announcement was made in a statement by Premier Doug Ford’s spokesperson Friday evening.
Simon Jefferies said Wilson’s resignation from cabinet and the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario caucus is effective immediately.
WATCH: Jim Wilson discusses labour reforms with Focus Ontario Host Alan Carter (Oct. 24)
Todd Smith, who currently serves as the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, as well as Government House Leader, will assume Wilson’s portfolio on an interim basis.
Wilson was at work on Friday morning. He appeared at an announcement unveiling new “open for business” signs at Ontario border crossings.
During his time as minister, Wilson has been involved in a number of major files such as NAFTA and labour reform legislation.
First elected in 1990, Wilson was re-elected in June’s provincial election as the MPP for Simcoe–Grey for a seventh term with almost 56 per cent of the vote.
While the Ontario PC Party was in government between 1995 and 2003, he served in various roles, including as a minister in the health, environment, energy and northern development departments. He served as the party’s interim leader between 2014 and 2015.
After his resignation was announced, colleagues showed their support for Wilson on Twitter.
“Jim Wilson has been my friend for 13 years and was my seatmate for many years. I hope he gets the help and peace he deserves,” Minister Lisa Macleod wrote.
“I thank him for 30 years of service and for being our interim leader in the last parliament.”
NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan wrote, “Wishing you well in your recovery, Jim. No one is immune to addiction.”
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