Long-time MP Tony Clement, who resigned from the Conservative caucus in the fall after revealing he had inappropriate interactions with women, says he will not seek re-election.
In a statement posted to his website, Mr. Clement wrote that after spending the past several months focusing on “personal and family well-being” and on his duties as a member of Parliament, he’s decided not to run for election this fall.
“This was actually not a difficult decision, and it is also the right one. I am very content with it, as is my family. It’s time to move on. My personal life is back on track after the personal crisis I created, and that better lived life will continue.”
The Ontario MP resigned from Conservative caucus in November after saying that he became the victim of financial extortion after sharing sexually explicit images and a video with someone he thought was a consenting woman but was actually individuals who targeted him.
Days later, Mr. Clement revealed additional inappropriate interactions with women and said that “acts of infidelity” had exposed him to blackmail.
Mr. Clement had said that the RCMP were investigating the original incident of extortion, and in January RCMP confirmed that two men in Africa’s Ivory Coast were charged in connection to Mr. Clement’s blackmail case.
On Tuesday Mr. Clement said he wanted to thank those who have “offered their prayers, encouragement and support throughout the last few months.”
“Politics has changed so much since I was first elected in 1995 [to the Ontario Legislature]. Anyone who enters this life faces loneliness, anxieties and adversity,” Mr. Clement wrote, “But also triumph and a feeling of accomplishing something important.”
Mr. Clement is a married father of three who has represented the Ontario federal riding of Parry Sound-Muskoka since 2006; he served as a cabinet minister in Ontario and in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s government, and he ran for party leader both federally and provincially.
Mr. Clement wrote that he’s still a conservative and he will be supporting the Conservative Party in the upcoming election. He said he will complete his term as an MP until election time.