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Brandy Payne tours Calgary’s Bow Valley College nursing program on Feb. 11, 2015.

Chris Bolin/The Globe and Mail

Alberta Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne says she won’t run for re-election next year because juggling job responsibilities with her young family is proving too burdensome.

Payne says she wants to spend more time in Calgary with her husband and two young girls, aged six and one.

She announced her decision last week on Facebook, and says being away from her loved ones for long periods of time has been difficult.

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Payne has been associate health minister for more than two years, steering efforts to reduce deaths and overdoses caused by opioids.

She is a first term legislature member, beating former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Jonathan Denis in the Calgary-Acadia constituency in the 2015 general election.

She is one of three NDP cabinet ministers who have had children while on executive council, along with Service Alberta Minister Stephanie McLean and Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley.

“One of the downsides of being an out-of-town member is that there is a lot of time away from family,” Payne said Tuesday.

“With young kids we were finding it was just too hard for me to be the mom that I wanted to be.”

Payne said her decision doesn’t reflect concerns that the NDP will lose seats in Calgary in the next election.

The city has been hit hard by falling job numbers due to the prolonged slump in oil prices.

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“I’m hearing a lot more positivity in Calgary for the work that our government is doing,” she said.

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