Andrew Scheer has stepped down as leader of the federal Conservative party.
He first announced his intention at a caucus meeting in Ottawa Thursday morning.
Bruce Grey Owen Sound Conservative MP Alex Ruff was in Ottawa to hear Scheer announce his intention to resign once a new leader is chosen.
"There was a lot of shock and surprise in the majority of the caucus, but as he stated then and as he stated in the house of commons it wasn't an easy decision for him but he made that decision due to family reasons, he 100 per cent believes in our party and the Conservatives."
Ruff says "it's not easy being a politician and trying to balance work and life but the whole party is proud of the accomplishments that he put forth over the last couple of years," says Ruff noting the current opposition party is the largest in Canada's history.
Looking ahead, as a retired Colonel, Ruff says he's been in the business of leading soldiers and there are some basic qualities of good leadership he would like to see in the next federal party leader, "Honesty transparency, a good communicator and ultimately somebody that all Canadians will look to as the person they want representing themselves and Canada on the world stage."
Scheer tweeted that resigning was the most difficult decision he has ever had to make and that he's stepping down once a new party leader is elected.
Scheer says the move is a way of putting his party first and his family first.
He says he will continue to serve as MP in his riding of Regina-Qu'Appelle for the 'near future.'