Jim Karygiannis gave the House of Commons a dose of genuine emotion after the faux-theatre of today’s Question Period. The Liberal MP who represented Scarborough-Agincourt in the House of Commons for 25 years, four months and 11 days—he kept an exact count—resigned this afternoon.
“Many people say I’m the last samurai in our party,” said the known political brawler.
Karygiannis paid tribute to anybody who contributed anything to his political victories. He broke down, composed himself, went on, broke down, composed himself, and went on. Karygiannis cared about the place where he stood. As ever, he was rough around the edges. He assured his colleagues that, despite Ottawa’s reputation for ruining marriages, he remained faithful to his wife.
Tributes from all parties recognized Karygiannis’s devotion to global human rights. Just the other day, he was crusading against the allegedly brutal Venezuelan government. The House sought to unanimously condemn the repressive actions of President Nicolas Maduro’s administration, but Karygiannis was steadfast in urging the Commons to adopt a more strongly worded motion. He failed in that endeavour, but the House was unanimous—thanks, at least in part, to Jimmy K’s insistence.
Scrumming with reporters in the House foyer for the last time, Karygiannis lamented, as many do on their way out the door, the lack of collegiality in the chamber behind him. He was, as ever, candid.
The voters of Toronto’s Ward 39 will now get a chance to vote for Karygiannis in this autumn’s municipal election. A campaign hint: He wants subways subways subways for Sheppard Avenue in northern Scarborough.