Conservative MP Tony Clement has resigned from all his committee positions and as Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice after sharing sexually explicit images and a video, he said in a statement.
“Over the last three weeks, I have shared sexually explicit images and a video of myself to someone who I believed was a consenting female recipient,” Clement said in the statement.
“The recipient was, in fact, an individual or party who targeted me for the purpose of financial extortion. The RCMP are currently investigating the matter to determine the identity of the party responsible for the extortion attempt.”
Clement will resign from his House of Commons committee assignments as well as the Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice.
Clement said he now recognizes he went “down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment.”
“First and foremost, I apologize to my family for the needless pain and humiliation my actions have caused. I also apologize to my colleagues and my constituents for letting them down,” Clement said. “I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not happen again while also continuing to discharge my duties as a Member of Parliament.”
Conservative leader Andrew Scheer commented on Clement’s resignation.
“Tonight, I have accepted Tony Clement’s resignation as the Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice and his resignation from his various committee roles,” Scheer said in a statement.
Scheer’s spokesperson confirmed that Clement will be resigning from all of his committee roles.
Clement is Vice-Chair and member of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, as well as a member of four other Parliamentary Associations and Interparliamentary Groups, including the Canada-United States Inter-Parliamentary Group and the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.
Clement was also announced today to be a member of the new multi-party National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced today.
The Committee is a powerful new committee created by the Liberals that lets a select group of parliamentarians from all parties and both chambers to review national security investigations. The Committee’s mandate allows “an unprecedented level of review and promotes government-wide accountability,” a government statement said.
Stephanie Carvin, a national security assistant professor at Carleton University and former national security analyst at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, noted that the news of Clement’s extortion trouble is unfortunate for the new committee, which takes blackmail material very seriously.
Scheer said that he is disappointed in Clement’s actions, but encourages him to seek help.
“While I’m greatly disappointed with Mr. Clement’s actions, I am encouraged that he has decided to seek help and I wish him all the best in doing so,” he said in a statement.
Scheer also said that Lisa Raitt, the Conservative Deputy Leader and the Member of Parliament for Milton, will assume the role of Shadow Minister for Justice effective immediately.
Clement has served as an Ontario cabinet minister under former premiers Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, as well as President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Industry and Minister of Health under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. He currently holds the seat of Parry Sound – Muskoka, which he won in the 2006 federal election.
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