Clement admits to multiple ‘inappropriate exchanges’; community group petition calls for his resignation

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Today, Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement released an apologetic statement to his constituents, admitting that he has “crossed lines that should never have been crossed.”

Clement’s letter comes on the heels of a scandal which broke Tuesday involving sexually explicit images sent by the politician that resulted in an attempt to extort money from him.

“In conducting myself this way I’ve let down myself, my family, my friends and supporters, my community, my work colleagues, and my staff—basically everyone I care about and who care about me,” wrote Clement in a statement to his Parry Sound-Muskoka constituents. “Pride and vanity got the better of me, and shame held me back from getting back to the path of good. I apologize to the women with whom the exchanges occurred, and I also apologize to anyone else who felt in any way that I crossed online boundaries that made them feel uncomfortable, even without my knowing. I am deeply sorry.”

He added, “I want to be clear that at no time have these personal lapses impacted or involved my day to day work as a Member of Parliament on behalf of our communities. That said, I offer you no excuses for my conduct. I take full responsibility. Members of Parliament are expected to set a high standard, a standard I have failed to meet.”

Clement made it clear that he intends to continue his duties as Parry Sound-Muskoka’s Member of Parliament.

“I am committed to getting the professional help I need to continue serving my family, my community and my country in whatever ways I can. I wish to sincerely thank the many members of our community who have reached out to convey their thoughts and prayers to me. I can assure the residents of Parry Sound-Muskoka that my offices remain open and at your service, and that I will continue to uphold the responsibilities of being your Member of Parliament.” (Read the full text of Clement’s letter at the end of this post.)

Clement initially resigned from his roles as Shadow Minister for Justice and on several parliamentary committees. Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer later, after he learned that it wasn’t the first time Clement shared such images online, asked him to resign from the party’s caucus, leaving Clement to sit as an independent.

But some are calling for his resignation as the riding’s representative.

A petition started by Women’s March Muskoka reads, “If Tony Clement is no longer fit to serve on key parliamentary committees, or as a member of his party’s caucus, then he is clearly unfit to serve as the Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka.”

While some constituents have expressed concern and support for Clement, others have made comments on social media and on this site questioning why he has not stepped down completely.

Among the comments Doppler has received:

  • “While Mr. Clement’s behaviour is mostly damaging to him and his family – for whom I have great sympathy – I will say that the monumental lack of judgment he demonstrated in this renders him unsuitable for his job. Plus, he may well have threatened Canada’s national security in taking part in such risky business of engaging in sexting with an unknown person, who could, as Karen W. points out, could be anybody from anywhere. It simply tells me that these urges are stronger than his common sense. He is VERY social-media savvy, so ignorance is no excuse.”
  • “Over the years, I have heard so many people expressing positive comments about Tony Clement. He listens and finds results. Wishing him and his family all the best.”
  • “Tony, No one is perfect. All the best to you and your family. At the end of the day, work is work, your family is what you need in the dark days. Blessings…”
  • “If Premier Doug Ford ever needed yet another example of why we need to bring back the Liberal sex-ed curriculum, this fiasco by his ‘friends’ (as he likes to call everyone) in the provincial and federal caucuses should be enough. Obviously, bringing it back isn’t going to help Tony or Jim but it may help the future generation of young politicians avoid such career-destroying embarrassments.”

See related comments and stories below:

MP Tony Clement resigns some duties after sharing sexually explicit images in what he claims was an extortion attempt

Scheer asks Clement to resign from Conservative caucus following sexting scandal

You can find the Women’s March Muskoka petition here.


Letter to the Constituents of Parry Sound – Muskoka
November 8, 2018

This is Tony Clement and this message is for my constituents in Parry Sound-Muskoka.

I have had the tremendous honour and privilege of serving as your Member of Parliament since 2006, a trust that has been renewed through four consecutive federal elections. Whether on the government or opposition side of the aisle, whether serving at the Cabinet table or on the back bench, my top priority has always been, and continues to be, working for the people and communities of Parry Sound-Muskoka. I have done so tirelessly, with passion and enjoyment from the first moment I received the honour to work on your behalf.

I have always aimed to serve with humility and today, I am writing to you directly to address a number of poor decisions in my personal and private life. During a period of personal difficulty and weakness I engaged in inappropriate exchanges that crossed lines that should never have been crossed. These exchanges led to acts of infidelity. One inappropriate exchange led to a woman being offered money by an anonymous social media account in exchange for the disclosure of intimate and personal information. I immediately reported this personal matter to the OPP last summer. Most recently, another inappropriate exchange led to foreign actors attempting to use my indiscretion for financial extortion which, without hesitation or second thought, I immediately reported to the RCMP. While these exchanges were entirely consensual and mutual, they were absolutely wrong and should never have occurred.

In conducting myself this way I’ve let down myself, my family, my friends and supporters, my community, my work colleagues, and my staff—basically everyone I care about and who care about me. Pride and vanity got the better of me, and shame held me back from getting back to the path of good. I apologize to the women with whom the exchanges occurred, and I also apologize to anyone else who felt in any way that I crossed online boundaries that made them feel uncomfortable, even without my knowing. I am deeply sorry.

I want to be clear that at no time have these personal lapses impacted or involved my day to day work as a Member of Parliament on behalf of our communities. That said, I offer you no excuses for my conduct. I take full responsibility. Members of Parliament are expected to set a high standard, a standard I have failed to meet.

In particular, I have failed the most important person in my life, my wife who has been with me through the many ups and downs of public service. She has made many sacrifices along the way in order to build a loving home and a wonderful family. I cannot undo the pain and hurt my actions have caused. All I can do is own up to what I have done and commit myself to rebuilding our trust, however long that may take. The mistakes I have made in my personal life, for those who know me, do not reflect who I am. I am resolved to refocus, to work hard, and to heal the damage I have caused to those most important in my life.

I love my job and I love my family. I am committed to getting the professional help I need to continue serving my family, my community and my country in whatever ways I can. I wish to sincerely thank the many members of our community who have reached out to convey their thoughts and prayers to me. I can assure the residents of Parry Sound-Muskoka that my offices remain open and at your service, and that I will continue to uphold the responsibilities of being your Member of Parliament.

Sincerely,

Tony Clement
M.P., Parry Sound – Muskoka

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7 Comments

  1. I would like to make a comment about author Lynne Golding, (Tony Clement’s wife).
    Lynne just finished her novel “The Innocent”.
    It would be a very sad situation if Tony’s disgraceful actions will completely overshadow Lynne’s success as a novelist, publishing her first work.
    Check out lynnegoldingauthor.com
    It is important to celebrate Lynne Golding’s success. Congratulations to you Lynne. I can hardly wait to read your novel.

  2. This whole situation is miserable for everyone involved. There is no need for making it worse by politicizing it. Teaching the dangers of posting ANYTHING of a personal nature out into cyberspace need not be merely encapsulated in a “sex education” curriculum. What we REALLY need are several public school courses on mental health hygiene–“how to be okay in a world gone mad”. One’s sexuality and gender is a very small part of who we are as human beings.

    We need to learn to deal with the many issues of growing up in our increasingly destructive culture–divorce and family breakup, the influence of television, film and social media on our thinking, choosing to think rationally in a world which votes in favor of being controlled by one’s emotions (which can change from moment to moment) etc. We also need to teach young people to appreciate that they are spiritual beings and that they can choose to obey the “spirit of the age” or the Eternal Spirit. No one in this world is free of spiritual influences. The fact that the two most popular movies, at the moment, are one which glorifies suicide (A Star Is Born) and the other which examines the very sad life of a rock star who slides into death from a sexually transmitted disease (Bohemian Rhapsody). It doesn’t matter how great the music is, the subject matter is thoroughly depressing. Once these themes enter the mind of an impressionable adolescent, it is difficult or impossible to get them out. Is it any wonder that depression and anxiety (anxiety is a feature of exhibitionist obsession, by the way) are two of our biggest mental health threats today?

    • A well worded comment. Politicizing this is inappropriate and off point as is a critical comment aimed at Premier Ford for removing the Ontario Sex Ed Curriculum for rewriting, a document with inappropriate age level content which allowed schools to indoctrinate children in sexual fluidity as early as kindergarten. As for Tony Clement posing a security risk anyone saying this should look very closely at the very real and multiple security risks being imposed on Canadians by Justin Trudeau.

      • I agree totally, B.J. The state has no right to indoctrinate our children into “group think”. A bunch of bureaucrats come up with this “group think” and we are supposed to meekly accept the ugly content that encourages all kinds of destructive lifestyles? That is why Jesus severely scolded those who would corrupt innocent children and said that, the punishment of those who would damage children would be so severe that it would be better for them were they to have a millstone tied around their necks and that they would be tossed into the depth of the sea. Our Lord fiercely defended children and all right-thinking individuals do so as well. Those who do not respect the innocence of children and choose to drag them through the filth of this world, will answer to Him for their actions.

  3. Mr. Clement has proven to b e less than ‘Honorable’. He presented himself as a candidate, when we elected him, as a respectable honest person on personal integrity. Now he has admitted, often trying to hide many misbehaviours, that ne is not that person. He has no option but to resign and, if I may add, to relinquish the title of “Honorable”. For that he no longer is! Is there a petition I can Sign?

  4. Tony Clement has done well for this area. He has made some bad mistakes in his private life, which unfortunately he is now paying for. But that is no reason for a bunch of self righteous feminists to stick their oar in demanding his resignation. I don’t normally quote biblical but “let he (or she) who is without sin cast the first stone” Flawed or not he has worked ceaselessly for all of his constituents. The people of Huntsville voted for a representative to work for them. If this bunch want him out wait for the appropriate time and stand for election yourselves!

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