Politics

Liberal MP Raj Grewal quitting politics, citing 'personal and medical reasons'

Liberal MP Raj Grewal is citing "personal and medical reasons" for his decision to quit federal politics, according to a post on his Facebook page.

'I feel I need this time to focus on my health and family'

Liberal MP Raj Grewal announced on Thursday that he is leaving federal politics to deal with a gambling problem. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Liberal MP Raj Grewal is citing "personal and medical reasons" for his decision to quit federal politics, according to a post on his Facebook page.

"Yesterday, I informed the chief government whip that I will be resigning my seat as member of Parliament for Brampton East due to personal and medical reasons," he said in the post.

"To the people of Brampton East, serving as your MP has been the greatest privilege of my life. This has been a decision I've struggled with for some time now and one I made with great difficulty and real sadness. But I feel I need this time to focus on my health and family."

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted Thursday that "while it may have been a difficult decision, it was the right one."

"I hope he receives the support he needs," Trudeau added.

His departure means the Trudeau government has another byelection to schedule. CBC News has confirmed the government intends to call byelections in Outremont, York–Simcoe and Burnaby South early in the new year, with the dates to be set for some point in February.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, who held the Brampton riding at the provincial level, said previously that he wanted to run in the riding at the federal level as well. Singh is now nominated to run in the Burnaby South byelection.

Earlier this year, NDP MP Charlie Angus wrote to Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion asking him to investigate Grewal for inviting Yusuf Yenilmez, CEO of ZGemi Inc., to a number of receptions in India with the prime minister and his delegation.

Angus noted that Grewal had listed the company, a general contractor in the Brampton area, as a source of income on his filing to the ethics commissioner.

In his letter to Dion, Angus said Grewal has "failed the test of principles" by promoting his partial employer's business and organizing "high-level networking opportunities."

The commissioners' office told CBC News Thursday that while it informed the public that an inquiry had been launched into Grewal's actions, it was unable to say whether that investigation had been completed or what the result was, citing privacy reasons.

Angus was later sanctioned by Dion's office for informing the media that he had made the request before the ethics commissioner had time to inform Grewal of the complaint.