David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Flamborough-Glanbrook, announced late Monday (Jan. 4) that he has resigned from his role as Chair of House of Commons ethics committee.
In a Facebook post, the Conservative MP announced the decision and said he would not be seeking re-election after it came to light that he has been in the U.S. for the last few weeks.
“It is time for me to spend more time with my wife, children and grandchildren while still contributing in other ways,” Sweet wrote in the social media post.
“I am currently out of the country with my wife having reached this difficult decision, and will be back in Hamilton soon.”
Conservative Leader, Erin O’Toole, urged caucus member to avoid international travel over the holidays to respect current COVID-19 protocols.
Sweet’s resignation followed the revelation that the Conservative leader in the Senate, Don Plett, took a personal trip to Mexico shortly after Christmas. Whether or not Plett will be penalized for his trip remains to be seen.
A number of Canadian politicians have faced fierce backlash in recent days after its been revealed that quite a few of them have travelled abroad during the holiday season.
Ontario’s finance minister, Rod Phillips, vacationed on the Caribbean island of St. Barts for several weeks. Phillips resigned several days after his trip came to light.
In Sweet’s case, O’Toole’s office says Sweet was cleared to travel to the United States for an unspecified “property issue,” but, Sweet then decided to stay in the U.S. “for leisure” without informing the whip.
“I have resigned my role as Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics and will not be seeking re-election,” Sweet’s Facebook post said.
“Rest assured until the next election my staff and I will continue to serve you to the best of our ability.”
— with a file from The Canadian Press