Canada’s Flaherty Says Skin Disorder Won’t Affect Job

Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty revealed he has a rare skin disorder that is being treated with steroids.

Flaherty, 63, has been diagnosed with bullous pemphigoid, a rare skin condition causing blisters that he is treating with the steroid prednisone, according to a statement from his office. Flaherty, who has been questioned about a change in his appearance by reporters, said side effects of the treatment include bloating and weight gain.

“This treatment has in no way impacted Minister Flaherty’s ability to do his job, as he has been dealing with this health issue for nearly a year now while carrying out his duties,” Flaherty’s director of communications Dan Miles said in an e-mailed statement.

The illness was reported by the Globe and Mail earlier today. Flaherty told the newspaper in an interview he would like to stay on as finance minister until the federal budget is balanced and that he had informed Prime Minister Stephen Harper of his disease late last year. Flaherty has said he is aiming to balance the budget by the fiscal year beginning April 2015.

Harper “wishes minister Flaherty well and looks forward to continuing work with him” on the budget, Harper’s director of communications Andrew MacDougall said in an e-mail.

The condition is clearing up and Flaherty is hopeful his appearance will return to normal soon, Miles said in the statement.

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