The new federal Liberal government has lost its first cabinet minister.
In a statement from the prime minister's office, Justin Trudeau said that Hunter Tootoo has resigned as the minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard.
"He will also be leaving the Liberal caucus," Trudeau said. "Mr. Tootoo will be taking time to seek treatment for addiction issues."
Tootoo was a longtime member of the legislative assembly in Nunavut, serving in several cabinet posts before being elected to Parliament in 2015. He's a cousin of hockey player Jordan Tootoo.
Trudeau announced that Dominic Leblanc is the new minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. He will retain his position as government house leader .
Leblanc is the MP for the riding of Beauséjour in New Brunswick. His father, Romeo Leblanc, served two stints as fisheries minister in cabinets headed by former prime minister Pierre Trudeau.
Last B.C. fisheries minister was in 2002
Even though B.C. is home to vibrant commercial, sports, and farmed-fishing industries, its MPs are rarely appointed as fisheries ministers.
The last six fisheries ministers before Tootoo hailed from Atlantic Canada, and 13 of the last 16 have come from this part of the country.
The only two B.C. fisheries ministrs since February 23, 1990, were Liberals David Anderson (1997 to 1999) and Herb Dhaliwal (1999 to 2002).