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Fisheries minister Ashfield recovering from a heart attack

Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield suffered a heart attack while at home in Fredericton this past weekend that will keep him away from Ottawa and his work as a cabinet minister for the next few weeks.

"Thanks to prompt medical attention I am now in stable condition and awaiting bypass surgery," Mr. Ashfield said in a statement released Wednesday. "While I am assured of a full and complete recovery, my doctors have advised me that I will require several weeks of rest and recuperation."

His staff would provide no additional information about his condition.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper has appointed Revenue Minister Gail Shea to handle the Fisheries portfolio as well as her own until Mr. Ashfield can return to his duties. Ms. Shea, the MP for Egmont in Prince Edward Island, is the former fisheries minister.

"I would like to wish Minister Keith Ashfield a quick recovery to full health and look forward to welcoming him back to Ottawa," Mr. Harper said in a statement.

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