One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s senior cabinet ministers is stepping aside from his duties temporarily as he deals with a medical issue.
In a statement, Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos said he has been experiencing chest pain in recent days and a doctor has now diagnosed him with a pulmonary embolism — an arterial blockage in his lungs.
“I’m now back home and feeling well, but as per my doctor’s recommendations, I will rest for a few days,” Duclos said. “Let us keep taking care of each other. See you soon!”
Joyce Murray, the minister of digital government, will assume Duclos’s responsibilities while he recovers “for a few days.”
Duclos also serves as the vice-chair of Prime Minister Trudeau’s COVID-19 cabinet committee and is a member of the cabinet operations committee, a key body in the executive branch that deals with “urgent and emerging issues.”
The Treasury Board position is an important one in government, as the occupant acts as a sort of general manager for the public service, establishing policies and standards in a wide range of areas and overseeing the implementation of programs across the federal government.
The Treasury Board president keeps an eye on the government’s financial management and spending and manages human resources issues, including collective bargaining agreements with unions.
While the job tends to be one of the less public-facing positions in cabinet, Duclos has been a regular participant at COVID-19 briefings over the past year, where he has answered questions on everything from vaccine procurement and border closures to rent relief for small businesses.