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Quebec ag minister out of hospital

Quebec Agriculture Minister Claude Bechard has been discharged from a Quebec City hospital after surgery for cancer-related complications.

Bechard, 40, underwent surgery Feb. 27 to remove a blockage that developed in his small intestine due to a recurrence of pancreatic cancer and has been recovering since then at l’Hotel-Dieu de Quebec.

Bechard will now continue his course of chemotherapy and the length of his convalescence remains “indeterminate,” the provincial government said in a release Thursday.

However, he’s “impatient” to return to work at the Quebec legislature and plans to visit in the coming weeks, the province added.

Bechard, the agriculture minister since June, has been the MNA for Kamouraska-Temiscouata in Quebec’s Bas-St-Laurent region since 1997. His other current cabinet portfolios include Canadian intergovernmental affairs and democratic reform.

He had been previously sidelined for five months after he was first diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2008, during his stint as natural resources minister. He was hospitalized again in January this year due to a tumour on his pancreas blocking the intestine near the bile duct.

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