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Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio defends absence from Ottawa in House of Commons speech

Nicola Di Iorio was first elected to represent St. Leonard-St. Michel in 2015. Nicola Di Iorio/Twitter

A Liberal MP who’s stayed out of the House of Commons for months says he’s been busy with other important work.

Montreal MP Nicola Di Iorio appeared in the Commons Tuesday to defend himself with a scattered speech that included talk about the historical mistreatment of Italian-Canadians.

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.

READ MORE: Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio to give back salary until retirement in January

He says he raised the issue in the House in June before heading back to his riding to talk to his constituents about his desire to leave office, and said he wanted to find a way to continue his work.

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Di Iorio says his work continued throughout the summer and he had to cancel his vacation plans. It was sometime in August, he says, that his concern about representing his constituents was made public.

READ MORE: This Liberal MP hasn’t been seen on Parliament Hill since September — his colleagues aren’t sure why

He announced his resignation in early November, saying he was stepping down from his post starting on Jan. 22, 2019.

In December, he says, he was told he would be absent from the House for a few weeks where he would focus on various tasks and would not receive a salary during this time.

With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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