Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says he is leaving the federal cabinet and returning to the private sector.
Flaherty delivered the bombshell news in a statement this afternoon.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement of his own, saying he had accepted Flaherty's decision "with great reluctance.''
Flaherty, who represents the Ontario riding of Whitby-Oshawa, has been struggling with health challenges over the last year, but says he is on the road to a full recovery.
He says the decision to leave politics is unrelated to his health, but is instead simply "the right decision for me and my family at this time.''
Flaherty, a former Ontario finance minister, has been in the federal Finance portfolio since 2006.