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Tony Clement steps back from duties after sending explicit images, video

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  • OTTAWA — Conservative MP Tony Clement is resigning from some of his duties after sending sexually explicit images and a video of himself to someone he claims targeted him for the purposes of financial extortion.

    Clement said in a statement Tuesday night that he sent the photos and video over the past three weeks to a person who he believed was a consenting female recipient. The the RCMP are investigating to determine the individual or party’s identity, he added.

    He said will continue to discharge his duties as MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka but has resigned from his House of Commons committee assignments as well as Conservative shadow minister for justice.

    “I recognize now that I have gone down a wrong path and have exercised very poor judgment,” said Clement, 57.

    “First and foremost, I apologize to my family for the needless pain and humiliation my actions have caused. I also apologize to my colleagues and my constituents for letting them down. I am committed to seeking the help and treatment I need in my personal life to make sure this will not happen again.”

    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer issued a statement saying he has accepted Clement’s resignation from various duties and deputy leader Lisa Raitt will assume the role of shadow minister for justice.

    “While I’m greatly disappointed with Mr. Clement’s actions, I am encouraged that he has decided to seek help and I wish him all the best in doing so,” Scheer said.

    The RCMP did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Clement is a former cabinet minister who ran for his party’s leadership in 2016 but dropped his bid after falling short of fundraising targets he set for himself.

    It marked the second time Clement sought to become leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He placed third in the 2004 leadership race, behind Stephen Harper and Belinda Stronach, after the Progressive Conservatives merged with the Canadian Alliance.

    Clement, who served in the Progressive Conservative government of former Ontario premier Mike Harris, also lost to Ernie Eves in the 2002 provincial leadership contest.

    The Canadian Press




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    National

    Google wants court to decide whether search curbs would infringe charter rights

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  • OTTAWA — Google wants the Federal Court to decide whether limiting search-engine results in the name of privacy would infringe Canadians’ constitutional guarantee of free expression.

    The leading internet search engine advocates broadening an upcoming court hearing to squarely address the question.

    Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien has asked the Federal Court to clarify if Google’s popular search tool is covered by the law governing how companies handle personal information.

    A man who says a Google search reveals outdated and highly personal information about him will be the test case that helps a judge decide whether the search engine must remove the links from its results.

    Therrien argues the federal law on private-sector use of personal information includes such a right to de-indexing.

    In documents filed with the court, Google says the privacy commissioner’s reference application is illogical and inefficient because it is too narrow and therefore won’t fully explore the relevant constitutional questions.

    The Canadian Press


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    Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson wants to return to politics

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  • BURNABY, B.C. — Former New Democrat MP Svend Robinson is attempting a political comeback, nearly 15 years after his theft of an expensive diamond ring brought an end to his decades-long career.

    Robinson is expected to be acclaimed as the NDP candidate in the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour at a nomination meeting later this week after serving seven terms in various ridings in the Metro Vancouver city from 1979 to 2004.

    Robinson made the announcement today outside his childhood home in the riding.

    He says he’s been knocking on doors in the community and even though it’s been 15 years since he left federal politics, people have welcomed him back.

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is running in a byelection in the neighbouring riding of Burnaby South and Robinson recently appeared with him at a campaign event.

    Robinson pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000 in 2004 after stealing an engagement ring valued at $64,000 from an auction, but he said he suffered from a mental health disorder and received a conditional discharge.

    Since leaving politics, the 66-year-old has spent time in Switzerland working with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

    The Canadian Press


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