Being ejected from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet last year took a heavy personal toll, former justice minister David Lametti conceded Thursday as he announced his decision to leave public office.

A statement from the Montreal MP said his resignation would take effect at the end of January.

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's leaving with "mixed emotions" but that his constituents would benefit from a change.

He was first elected under the Liberal banner in 2015, when the party formed a majority government under Trudeau. Four years later in 2019, he was appointed justice minister and attorney general.

The former law professor remained in that role until he was shuffled out of cabinet last July and replaced by successor Arif Virani. At the time, Lametti pledged to those in his riding that he would run for re-election.

He ultimately changed his mind.

"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," Lametti said on Thursday.

"This period has been challenging personally, as one might imagine, and I sincerely believe that after eight intense years, constituents of LaSalle-Émard-Verdun — and I am one of them — would benefit from a change of voice and style."

Former justice minister David Lametti resigns as Montreal MP to join law firm. #CDNPoli #DavidLametti

Lametti went on to list what he considers his accomplishments in political life, both as an MP and as a justice minister. As a parliamentarian, he "spearheaded" the government's apology in 2021 to the families of Italian Canadians who were interned during the Second World War.

He noted he was one of the longest-serving Liberal justice ministers of the past few decades, and oversaw the passage of 13 bills.

He pointed to legislation banning the practice of conversion therapy, rolling back some mandatory minimum penalties and updating Canada's framework for medical assistance in dying.

He also took credit for a "direct policy impact" on numerous files, from gun control and disability rights to child welfare and climate change.

Lametti said he remains proud of his legacy and the fact he "did not squander the chance" to enact change while he sat around the cabinet table.

His tenure in cabinet overlapped with "an extraordinary time" in Canada, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the Freedom Convoy protests and first-ever invocation of the Emergencies Act, as well as an ongoing war in Europe, he added.

"I am proud of the role I played in each of these situations."

A Federal Court judge ruled earlier this week that the Trudeau government violated the Charter rights of Canadians when it deployed the act to quell ongoing protests in 2022. The government plans to appeal the decision.

Lametti also said he looks forward to passage of legislation he introduced that would establish an independent commission to examine and rectify wrongful convictions more swiftly.

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.

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