Being ejected from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet took a tough personal toll, former justice minister David Lametti shared Thursday as he announced his exit from public office.
A statement from the Montreal MP said his resignation will take effect at the end of this month.
Lametti made the announcement as he and other Liberal MPs met behind closed doors in Ottawa before the House of Commons resumes sitting next Monday.
In the statement, Lametti said he resigns with “mixed emotions” but his constituents would benefit from a change.
He was first elected under the Liberal banner in 2015, and Trudeau appointed him as federal justice minister and attorney general in 2019.
The former law professor remained in that role until he was shuffled out of cabinet last July and replaced with current Justice Minister Arif Virani.
“It is with some sadness that I am leaving a dream job. Since the changes made to cabinet in the summer of 2023, I have continued to do my best to fulfil my duties as a member of Parliament,” he said.
“This period has been challenging personally, as one might imagine, and I sincerely believe that after eight intense years, constituents of LaSalle-Emard-Verdun — and I am one of them — would benefit from a change of voice and style.”
Lametti said he was one of the longest-serving Liberal justice ministers of the past few decades, and his statement listed accomplishments including passing 13 bills.
He pointed to legislation banning the practice of conversion therapy, rolling back some mandatory minimum penalties and updating Canada’s medical assistance in dying regime.
The former minister said he also “had a direct policy impact” on files from gun control and disability rights to child welfare and climate change.
Lametti said he is proud of his legacy and “did not squander the chance” to enact change while he sat around the cabinet table.
He noted that he served as a minister “during an extraordinary time.”
That included “a pandemic, an occupation of border crossings and downtown Ottawa necessitating the invocation of the Emergencies Act and a war in Europe,” he wrote.
“I am proud of the role I played in each of these situations.”
He said he is joining the Fasken Martineau DuMoulin law firm, where one of his focuses will be on Indigenous law.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2024.