Liberal MP missing from Parliament says PM approved his absence
OTTAWA -- Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio says his recent absence from Parliament has been sanctioned by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In a phone conversation with CTV News, the Montreal-area MP said that Trudeau has given him responsibilities that require him to be elsewhere and that he is still working on projects in his riding. Di Iorio issued a similar statement on his Facebook page.
"I cannot be in two places at the same time," he said.
Di Iorio confirmed he hasn’t taken his seat in the House of Commons since Parliament resumed Sept. 17, but would not comment on why, or what his future political intentions are.
The Liberal MP announced in the spring that he would be leaving politics, citing family reasons, but never resigned his seat. He then said last month he was taking time to contemplate his political future, though he’s since made appearances in his capacity as a lawyer.
Di Iorio said that he made clear when he was elected he intended to continue teaching and practicing law, and would keep up his volunteer work.
He said this is because he believes deeply that as an MP it’s important to stay in touch with the "real world."
He told CTV News he decided to reconsider whether he’d vacate his seat after hearing from groups in his riding that hoped he could find a way to stay on as an MP. He would not comment on whether he has been docked pay for his absence from the Commons, but said the Liberal whip’s office is aware of why he has not been there.
The Liberal whip’s office would not answer whether or not the MP has begun to be penalized for his absence from the hill. MPs receive a $172,000 salary but after being absent for 21 days, they can have $120 a day clawed back each day following.
Di Iorio was first elected in 2015 in the Saint-Leonard-Saint-Michel riding.
In a statement to CTV News, PMO press secretary Matt Pascuzzo said that after announcing he’d resign Di Iorio "agreed to continue his work to ensure a smooth transition in his riding and to work on specific files that are in line with his work experience and expertise."
Trudeau said on Thursday that, while Di Iorio remains an MP, he expects an update on his political future soon.
With files from CTV News' Michel Boyer