Helping people the 'nuts and bolts' of politics, outgoing MP says

The MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka says he’ll be searching for a new job in the fall after announcing he’s not seeking re-election.

Clement has been involved with Ontario and federal politics since 1995

MP Tony Clement announced on Tuesday he will not run in the next federal election. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

The MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka says he'll be searching for a new job in the fall after announcing he's not seeking re-election.

On Tuesday, Tony Clement announced he will not be running in the upcoming federal election.

He was removed from the Conservative caucus in November 2018. Shortly after, Clement revealed he had shared sexually explicit images and video with women.

He also said someone had attempted to bribe one of the women to disclose "intimate and personal information" and that he had been targeted for extortion by someone demanding money to keep the images from being released.

"I've got a great deal of remorse over that personal crisis," he said.

"It gave me the time to reflect, to work on my family life, to work on my personal life and to realize now is the time to start a new career."

Provincial and federal politics

Clement started his career in politics when he was elected to Queen's Park in 1995. He held a number of cabinet positions, including minister of municipal affairs and housing. In 1999 under the Harris government, he put forward a bill to amalgamate several communities in Ontario, including the creation of the City of Greater Sudbury.

He was voted into the House of Commons in 2006 and held a number of cabinet positions, including president of the Treasury Board and minister of industry.

In 2009, he suggested the Brazilian-based Vale takeover of a Sudbury mine "saved the community," from becoming a "valley of death." He later called his comments "bone-headed."

A year later, he made headlines after millions were spent in his riding to host the G8 summit. New gazebos, parks and other upgrades were made in his riding.

Clement says looking back, the work he did in his own riding stands out.

"What really meant a lot to me was helping people in my constituency," he said.

"That to me was the nuts and bolts of politics, it's helping people. You can do all the other stuff and that's wonderful but if you're not helping people, you're not really doing anything that's worthwhile."

What's next

Now, even though he's not a member of the Conservative caucus, he says he plans to help the party in the upcoming election.

"I'm proud of Andrew Scheer and I support him," he said.

"I will continue to support the Conservative movement and support the Conservative Party."

Clement will stay on as MP for his riding until the election. After that, he says he'll be looking for a new job.

"I've had a lot of experience in small business, starting up companies, so that could be a possibility," he said.

"I want to do things to help society in another fashion other than being a MP."

He says he also wants to do more shows with his classic rock cover band, The Dock Spiders.

With files from Jamie-Lee McKenzie


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.