By Jordan Press, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — Liberal MP Jim Carr has been diagnosed with a form of blood cancer.
Carr, who served as natural resources minister and international trade minister during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s first mandate, says in a statement that he has begun treatment for the disease, which has also affected his kidneys.
He has started undergoing chemotherapy and dialysis that will “continue for the near future.”
Carr’s doctor ordered him to go to the hospital just as he was being re-elected in his Winnipeg riding Monday. During the campaign, he’d been experiencing what he called flu-like symptoms, which prompted a round of routine blood tests.
On Tuesday, doctors in Winnipeg diagnosed Carr with multiple myeloma.
“I am feeling well, my spirits are high,” he said, noting that he has already spoken to Trudeau about his circumstances. “I spoke to the prime minister and reiterated my commitment to continue serving my constituents and all Canadians.”
He also thanked the doctors, nurses and staff who are providing him care, and that he and his family “appreciate everyone’s respect for our privacy at this time.”
Carr was first elected in 2015 as the MP for Winnipeg South Centre, and a few weeks later became Trudeau’s minister of natural resources. In the summer of 2018, Trudeau shuffled Carr to oversee international trade.
Some of his fellow cabinet ministers responded to the news with well-wishes on Twitter.
“We are all with you,” wrote Catherine McKenna, calling him an “always awesome colleague.” Melanie Joly wrote that Carr has been “a leader in many fights, and this one is another one you will win.” Bernadette Jordan called Carr “one of the hardest-working, genuine” people she knows.
An estimated 3,300 Canadians will be diagnosed with the cancer this year, based on statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society, and 1,550 will die from the disease. The net five-year survival rate for multiple myeloma is 44 per cent, the society says.
Carr’s statement said that his constituency office will be open for the residents of his riding, one of whom wished his MP a speedy recovery.
“To my MP and friend Jim Carr: I wish you good health, we are pulling for you and we want you to be well,” tweeted Manitoba NDP Leader Wab Kinew.