OTTAWA — Conservative MP Tony Clement is resigning from some of his duties after sending sexually explicit images and a video of himself to someone he claims targeted him for the purposes of financial extortion.
Clement said in a statement Tuesday night that he sent the photos and video over the past three weeks to a person who he believed was a consenting female recipient. The the RCMP are investigating to determine the individual or party’s identity, he added.
He said will continue to discharge his duties as MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka but has resigned from his House of Commons committee assignments as well as Conservative shadow minister for justice.
“I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment,” said Clement, 57.
“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. I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not happen again.”
Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued a statement saying he has accepted Clement’s resignation from various duties and deputy leader Lisa Raitt will assume the role of shadow minister for justice.
“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,” Scheer said.
The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Clement is a former cabinet minister who ran for his party’s leadership in 2016 but dropped his bid after falling short of fundraising targets he set for himself.
It marked the second time Clement sought to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He placed third in the 2004 leadership race, behind Stephen Harper and Belinda Stronach, after the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance.
Clement, who served in the Progressive Conservative government of former Ontario premier Mike Harris, also lost to Ernie Eves in the 2002 provincial leadership contest.
TONY CLEMENT’S FULL 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. 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.”
Tonight, I have resigned from my House of Commons committee assignments as well as Conservative Shadow Minister for Justice in order to focus on my personal life and my family. I ask that all Canadians respect my and my family’s privacy at this time.
I recognize now that I have gone 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. 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.
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