Lyle Stewart has announced he will be resigning as Saskatchewan’s Minister of Agriculture to focus on his battle with cancer.

“I was recently diagnosed with colorectal cancer and will be undergoing several months of pretty aggressive treatment,” Stewart said in a statement.

“Agriculture is a very important portfolio in this province and it has been a tremendous honour to serve as Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister under two great Premiers over the past six years. However, given my current circumstances, I didn’t feel I would be able to give that position the attention it deserved, so I have asked Premier Moe to appoint a new Minister.”

Lloydminster MLA Colleen Young says it’s sad to see Stewart step down, but focusing on treatment is his priority.

“It’s sad for all of us to see, but we realize he needs the time and it’s important for him to focus on his health at this point in time.”

Stewart will remain the MLA for Lumsden-Morse. He will also remain the Agriculture Minister until Premier Scott Moe appoints a new Minister, which is expected to be announced next week.

Young says Stewart has been very well liked throughout his term and he will be hard to replace.

“He listens to the ag producers and the work that he does in consulting in order to make good decisions for the benefit of agriculture in our province has been nothing aside from being exceptional.”