HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's lands and forestry minister announced Thursday he will not re-offer in the next provincial election.

Chuck Porter has been the MLA for Hants West for 15 years. He has served as minister of municipal affairs, and housing and minister of energy and mines.

"I have certainly enjoyed my career in public service, and I am now genuinely looking forward to starting a new chapter," he said in a statement.

"Through the continued hard work and dedication of this government, I am very optimistic about the future of Nova Scotia."

Porter began his political career as councillor for the Town of Windsor before joining the Nova Scotia legislature in 2006. Prior to his election, he worked as a paramedic.

Premier Iain Rankin has not yet set an election date.