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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Public Services Minister Judy Foote is taking an indefinite leave of absence from her job for personal and family reasons.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Public Services Minister Judy Foote is taking an indefinite leave of absence from her job for personal and family reasons.

He says Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr will fill in for her during her absence.

Trudeau says in a statement that families must always be a priority for MPs, and he commends Foote for wanting to be with her loved ones.

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The statement offered no other details.

Foote does have a history of breast cancer, although a source familiar with the circumstances said the decision to take a leave of absence is unrelated to her health.

Foote was first diagnosed 17 years ago in 2000 while serving as a provincial politician in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Foote was first elected federally in 2008 and again in 2011 in the riding of Random-Burin-St. George's. In 2014, she informed constituents that the disease had returned.

Foote was re-elected in 2015 in the newly established riding of Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, where she earned nearly 82 per cent of the vote — the highest in Canada.

"As Parliamentarians, our family should always be our priority, and I commend her for taking the time to be with her loved ones," Trudeau's statement said.

"We look forward to having her back in Ottawa."

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