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MP Nicola Di Iorio says he will resign in January after finalizing 'projects'

Last Updated Nov 6, 2018 at 1:40 pm PST

Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio, shown in a handout photo, says he's resigning his seat on January 22 after weeks of speculation around whether he would return to work. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

OTTAWA – Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio says he’s resigning his seat on Jan. 22 after weeks of speculation around whether he would ever return to work.

The Montreal MP has not been seen in Ottawa since Parliament resumed sitting Sept. 17.

Di Iorio wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday that to finalize “certain projects” he will hold his job until a few days before the House of Commons returns after a Christmas break.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer raised the issue in question period shortly afterward, asking if Prime Minister Justin Trudeau thinks it’s fair for Di Iorio to remain a member of Parliament and take a paycheque from a private firm while still collecting his salary as an MP. Di Iorio has an active law practice in Montreal.

Trudeau said Di Iorio has indicated his intention to leave and has shared the issues he will be working on for his constituents until then.

“We expect every member in this House to work in the best interest of his constituents,” Trudeau said.

Di Iorio wrote in French on Facebook that he will serve his riding, will work on matters such as road safety and impaired driving, and will be in the House of Commons when it’s required by the Liberal whip or the prime minister and will carry out his duties as a member of Parliament.

He says even after he resigns he will be available to his constituents until the general election due next fall, saying he will be alert to their concerns and will volunteer to help.

Last week, Di Iorio posted a short message on Facebook saying that Trudeau had assigned him responsibilities that required him to be away from the House of Commons.

But Trudeau dodged reporters’ questions about the MP’s absence on Monday, suggesting reporters ask Di Iorio about it.

First elected to represent St. Leonard-St. Michel in 2015, Di Iorio has been sending mixed messages about his future in politics since April, when he announced he was leaving but without giving a timeline. In September he said he was still reflecting on the future.