Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has resigned from the government, sending shock waves across the nation, reports the Financial Post.

Citing a desire to return to the private sector, Flaherty said that his decision had nothing to do with his health issues.

“I am happy to report that I am on the road to a full recovery and the decision to leave politics was not related in any way to my health,” Flaherty, 64, said in a statement. “This decision was made because it is the right one for me and my family at this time.”

The former native of Lachine, Quebec had been Canada's Finance Minister since February 6, 2006, replacing Ralph Goodale. Under Flaherty, the country saw many significant changes implemented, such as the tightening of mortgage rates, the elimination of the penny and the creation of the tax-free saving account.

“Canada has benefited immensely from Minister Flaherty’s contributions as one of the longest serving Finance Ministers in our history,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper said upon Flaherty’s resignation.

“Since 2006, he has been a steady hand, ably guiding Canada through the most challenging economic times since the Great Depression and gaining the country a solid global reputation for economic management.”

Joe Oliver, who currently serves as Canada’s Natural Resources Minister, is expected to be Flaherty’s replacement.

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