Liberal MP Di Iorio misses self-declared deadline to resign
Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio appears in this undated image. (liberal.ca)
Published Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:08PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:24PM EST
OTTAWA -- Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio, who has been missing in action in the House of Commons for months, has now missed his self-declared deadline to resign.
In November amid questions about his prolonged absence from Parliament Hill, Di Iorio announced that he would be resigning his seat in the House of Commons effective Jan. 22, 2019.
That date has now come and passed, and Speaker Geoff Regan's office confirmed to CTV News on Wednesday that it has yet to receive the Quebec MP's official resignation.
In the lengthy message posted to his Facebook page in November, Di Iorio said in order to wrap up current projects in his riding -- which he's previously said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved -- he would be continuing his work as an MP until Jan. 22, 2019 when his resignation will be effective.
Though, he described this date as the day before the next session of Parliament, which is not accurate. The House of Commons resumes sitting on Jan. 28, so it's possible that by then Di Iorio will be officially resigning then.
When MPs vacate their seat, they can either announce their intention to resign on the floor of the Commons, or deliver a written letter declaring their departure. At this point the Speaker can inform the Chief Electoral Officer of the vacancy to open up the potential for a byelection.
Should he resign, Di Iorio's riding will remain without representation until the general election because the window of time in which a vacancy can be filled has closed. Part of the recently passed election reform bill C-76 changes the rules to state that a byelection cannot be called within nine months of the scheduled general election date, which is October 21, 2019.
The Montreal-area Liberal MP first announced in the spring that he would be leaving politics, citing family reasons, but never resigned his seat. He then said this fall that he was taking time to contemplate his political future. As he was mulling his political career, Di Iorio hadn't been seen in his seat in the House of Commons, but he had made appearances in his capacity as a lawyer.
Trudeau has faced questions over his MP's exit plan, including being able to collect his MP salary while not participating in key parliamentary activities.
MPs receive a $172,000 salary but after being absent for 21 days, they can have $120 a day clawed back each day going forward.
The Canadian Press had previously reported that Di Iorio would be giving back, or donating the salary he received during his final five months as an MP. It is not clear if this has or will be happening.
CTV News has reached out to Di Iorio for comment.
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