Premier Scott Moe will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Lyle Stewart as Agriculture Minister.

Lyle Stewart announcing he is stepping down from the portfolio as he battles cancer for the second time.

He was previously diagnosed with prostate cancer and went through treatment for that in 2014.

Stewart will be undergoing several months of pretty aggressive treatment and decided it was best for the Province and the Ag sector to step down.

“I’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and there’s some lymph nodes involved, so it’s kind of a thing. Saskatchewan needs and deserves a full time, capable Agriculture Minister that can be on top of things. I don’t feel that I can do the job the way I should probably during the next year. So, I decided to step down.”

Stewart will remain on as MLA for Lumsden-Morse; he was first elected to the Legislature in 1999 and was appointed Agriculture Minister in 2012.

Premier Scott Moe will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Lyle Stewart as Agriculture Minister.

“First and foremost my thoughts are with Lyle as a friend, as he embarks on this battle that I know he’ll be successful in. Second, we’ll work our way through the cabinet piece as we go through the next week or so. But, my thoughts are with my friend as he embarks on the second term now with a disease that he’ll lick here before too long.”

Moe added that he recognizes the importance of agriculture to the Province.

“It’s not lost on me, the importance of this role in our province’s economy. It’s not lost on me, the opportunity that we have had as a province and as a governing party since 2007 to have these two fine gentlemen (Bob Bjornerud and Lyle Stewart) serve in that role. So a very impactful decision faces myself one that I would rather not make. I would rather have Lyle continue to serve in this role barring this diagnosis.”

Stewart will remain as MLA for Lumsden-Morse; he was first elected to the Legislature in 1999 and was appointed Agriculture Minister in 2012.

Premier Moe is expected to name a new Agriculture Minister next week.

The Agriculture sector is sending best wishes to Stewart in this battle.

Bill Huber is President of the Saskatchewan Stock Growers and says the Premier will have big shoes to fill with the departure of Lyle Stewart.

“It’s really unfortunate to hear news like that that he’s battling cancer; I knew he beat it a few years ago. He’s a cancer survivor and he will be again. He represented his constituency with honesty and integrity. As Agriculture Minister he was a hands on sort of individual. He farmed himself with his son, had livestock; knew what the ups and downs were about farming and agriculture and all the things we as producers expect and want as government.”

Todd Lewis is President of APAS says he’s a man that was well respected in the industry.

“On a personal side we’re - I’m certainly concerned about his health and everything. Hopefully, you know he’s going to be successful in battling cancer again. I believe certainly that agriculture has flourished while he’s been ag minister. He was more than open to having discussions and working together to try and change situations and do the best for Saskatchewan ranchers and farmers. I think his legacy is just the openness and his ability to tackle a problem head on and really have pretty good results overall.”

Rick Toney is President of the Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association and says Stewart is a tough ‘ol cowboy.

“Lyle you couldn’t find a better person. His door was always open and he listened. When you spoke to him he listened and always give you a straight answer there was no beating around the bush or if, ands, maybe’s. He was honest and told you exactly what was on his mind, what he thought.”

While Stewart is resigning as Agriculture Minister, he will remain on as MLA for Lumsden-Morse.

Premier Scott Moe is expected to name a new Agriculture Minister next week.

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