Montreal

Laval MP Eva Nassif 'pushed out' by Liberal Party, riding president says

Laval's outgoing Liberal MP for the Vimy riding is throwing in the towel, opting to pull out of political life before the upcoming election this fall.

Riding president says outgoing Liberal MP was pushed out of office without explanation

MP Eva Nassif has represented the Vimy riding in Laval since 2015. She took 46 per cent of the vote, beating her opponents by a large margin. (Facebook)

Laval's outgoing Liberal MP for the Vimy riding says she will be pulling out of politics before the upcoming election this fall.

Eva Nassif bade farewell to her constituents Thursday evening, posting a lengthy resignation letter to social media.

"Recent events of a personal nature motivate this decision, which I do not take lightly," she wrote.

But riding president Giuseppe Margiotta told The Canadian Press that Nassif was pushed out without any reason given.

The entire executive in the riding was "stunned'' by the recent developments, he said. 

Margiotta blames the Liberal Party of Canada for leaving his local riding association "in the dark." He said he wrote to party leaders demanding an explanation, but his email was left unanswered.

The association's board remains in place until mid-October. Margiotta said he's open to working with the new candidate, but wants the federal party leaders to explain what happened.

Nassif says it was a personal decision

In the public letter, Nassif said her decision to leave politics was a difficult one because she loved the job.

"Service has always been at the heart of my life, from being a nurse in a war-torn Lebanon to a federal MP in Canada," she wrote.

"One thing is certain, no matter what the future holds for me, I am convinced that I will continue to serve in one way or another."

She thanks her family, her constituents, the volunteers and the staff of her MP's office. She says the greatest gift the position brought her "is the opportunity to meet wonderful people with interesting stories from all corners of Vimy."

She ends the letter with a list of several things she has learned over her years in office, concluding that "nothing is impossible for the woman who really wants it."

Nassif was born in Lebanon and immigrated to Canada in 1993 where she became active in women's rights and youth affairs.

Liberals remain quiet

There is no mention of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in the two-page letter, but eight days prior she was singing to a different tune. She emailed a statement to La Presse canadienne on Aug. 14, saying she was certain the prime minister would appoint her to represent the party.

"I would have hoped it would have been more expeditious," she wrote. "I am sure that in the coming days I will receive my appointment from the prime minister."

Last week, Liberal sources said that Nassif was failing to meet her party's requirements as an incumbent to secure a nomination.

To confirm Liberal candidacy, an incumbent must have, among other things, knocked on at least 3,500 doors or made 5,000 telephone calls, obtained the signatures of 150 Liberals in the riding and added 30 new monthly contributors.

Sources within the local Liberal association told La Presse canadienne that Nassif had met the requirements.

In an emailed statement to La Presse canadienne, a spokesperson for the Liberals thanked Nassif for her work and wished her success in her future endeavours.

Traditionally a Liberal stronghold

The Vimy riding is traditionally a shoo-in for the Liberals. In 2015, Nassif raked in over 46 per cent of votes.

The New Democrats, which took second place with 20 per cent of the 2015 vote, nominated their candidate this week: Vassif Aliyev.

The Conservative Party is running immigration consultant Rima El-Helou and Claire-Emmanuelle Beaulieu will run for the Bloc Québécois.

Suzanne Brunelle is the candidate of the People's Party of Canada, led by Maxime Bernier and the Green Party has not yet chosen their candidate.

With files from La Presse canadienne

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