Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:16PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:46PM EST
OTTAWA – After questions over his political future following a prolonged absence from Parliament, Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio has announced he intends to resign his seat in the House of Commons, effective in January 2019.
In a lengthy message posted to his Facebook page, Di Iorio said in order to wrap up current projects in his riding—which he’s previously said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved—he will continue his work as an MP until Jan. 22, 2019 when his resignation will be effective.
Di Iorio said that in the meantime, he will continue to serve his constituents, exercise all functions as an MP, and be present when the Liberal caucus whip or Trudeau requests.
The Montreal-area Liberal MP announced in the spring that he would be leaving politics, citing family reasons, but never resigned his seat. He then said last month he was taking time to contemplate his political future. As he was mulling his political career this fall, Di Iorio hadn’t been seen in his seat in the House of Commons, but he had made appearances in his capacity as a lawyer.
Di Iorio said that he made clear when he was first elected in 2015 he intended to continue teaching and practising law. In his message posted Tuesday, Di Iorio said even after he’s vacated his seat, he intends to be around in a volunteer capacity.
Trudeau came under fire in question period over his MP’s exit plan.
“He gets to collect his salary all the way to the end of January while he’s earning a paycheque from a private firm, but that’s all okay with the prime minister… Why does the prime minister think it’s fair for a member of Parliament to not show up for work, collect a paycheque from a private firm, and still get paid from the taxpayer?” asked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer.
MPs receive a $172,000 salary but after being absent for 21 days, they can have $120 a day clawed back each day following. It is unclear whether or not Di Iorio has had his pay docked as a result of his absence.
Responding to Scheer, Trudeau said Di Iorio has shared the initiatives he will be working on in his community over the next few months.
“Of course Mr. Speaker we expect every member in this House to work in the best interest of his constituents,” Trudeau sai.
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