Conservative MP Tony Clement has resigned from all his committee roles after admitting he shared sexually explicit photos and a video with a woman. He alleges that he’s facing a demand that he pay 50,000 euros or the material will be released to the public.
“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.”
RCMP spokesperson Stephanie Dumoulin confirmed they are investigating the matter.
Clement will resign from his House of Commons committee assignments as well as the Conservative shadow minister for justice, but stay on as MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka.
Clement said he now recognizes he went “down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment.” Clement is married and a father of three.
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“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.
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 named as a member of the new multi-party National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians, which Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday.
It’s 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 trouble is unfortunate for the new committee, which takes allegations of 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.
U.K.-born 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 has held the seat of Parry Sound-Muskoka since the 2006 federal election.
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