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Canada's Industry Minister James Moore speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, in this file photo taken November 26, 2014. Moore, a leading figure in the Conservative government, will not run in the October 19 election.

Chris Wattie/Reuters

Veteran Harper cabinet minister James Moore is calling it quits, marking another major departure from the Prime Minister's front-bench team with an election only months away.

Mr. Moore, currently serving as Industry Minister, announced his exit on his Facebook page, citing the health problems afflicting his young son.

"Balancing family responsibilities while in public life is always a challenge. This is particularly true when you have a child with special needs. Recently my wife and I received some difficult news about the health of our beautiful son Spencer," Mr. Moore wrote.

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"I will finish this term as Member of Parliament for Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, then I will be going home to British Columbia to pursue new opportunities and be closer to my young family."

The Prime Minister's Office has known for weeks that Mr. Moore would not seek another term during the federal election that is widely expected to take place in October.

But Mr. Moore has made it official on Friday because news began leaking out, sources said.

The 39-year-old MP's exit further reduces the political strength of Mr. Harper's A-team.

In the past 18 months, the Conservative Leader has lost former finance minister Jim Flaherty and former foreign affairs minister John Baird. Peter MacKay, the Justice Minister and co-founder of the party in 2003, announced last month that he's also stepping down. Other cabinet ministers not running again include Christian Paradis, now minister responsible for international development, and Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Mr. Moore has been part of Stephen Harper's cabinet since 2008.

The B.C. MP said he's not quitting out of fear the Conservatives may face electoral defeat in a fall election.

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"While I have every confidence that Prime Minister Harper and our Conservative Government will be re-elected, and I wish I could be part of the next Conservative Government, after five terms and 15 years in public life, and with health challenges in my family, I have concluded it is impossible for me to seek another term in office."

Mr. Moore said he's looking forward to spending more time with his wife and child.

"To my amazing and loving family, thank you for your support, patience and understanding over all these years. I simply could not have survived in public life without your love and I am so lucky for the gift of you in my life. After 15 rewarding years, I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life."

The Prime Minister's Office framed the exit as understandable.

"We thank Minister Moore for his 15 years of service to his community, province and country," said Stephen Lecce, spokesman for the PMO. "As the minister's statement makes clear, he has a special needs son who is facing health issues. We fully understand his need to spend more time with his family and wish the minister, his wife Courtney and his son Spencer well."

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