OTTAWA, April 2, 2014 ( – After 26 years as a pro-life and pro-family member of Parliament, Liberal MP Jim Karygiannis is retiring to run in the upcoming municipal election in Toronto.

He will vie for the Scarborough-Agincourt council seat that will be vacated by Mike Del Grande, who announced he will not be running again.

“Effective immediately, I am tendering my resignation as the Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Agincourt,” an emotional Karygiannis told MPs in the House after question period Tuesday.


“It has been over 25 years since I walked into this place, and I still get goose bumps every time I walk in here,” he said.

“I have to admit that over those 25 years, I have had the time of my life. This is a place where one can make a difference. I think I have made a difference.”

Mary Ellen Douglas, national organizer for Campaign Life Coalition, agreed that Karygiannis has made a difference, both within the federal Liberal Party and in Canadian politics.

“He's a strong pro-lifer, and it's sad news for us that he is resigning because we don't have enough pro-life Liberals in Ottawa,” Douglas told LifeSiteNews.

“We need to have solid pro-life Liberals, as well as solid pro-life Conservatives, in order to obtain the laws to protect all unborn children from the time of conception, because we need both sides of the House in order to pass these laws,” Douglas said.

“I know nobody in the pro-life movement wants to support Justin Trudeau, but you don't support Justin Trudeau, you support the MP in your riding if they're pro-life, so that we can work with them in Parliament,” she explained. “The leader is, after all, not the party, and we need to have men and women there who will stand up against their leader and not back down on any issue that defends life.

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“We need strong Liberals like Karygiannis, who will stand up and vote for a Conservative motion, even though his party leader may have suggested that that is not a good idea – they've always tended to have a little more freedom that way in the Liberal Party.”

“I can see, from the media interviews, that his reason for leaving is because his way of dealing with issues is not valued by Justin Trudeau – that's a given. But I think his leaving will be a loss to the Liberals.”

“I wish him the very best in municipal politics,” Douglas added. “He will be missed.”

Campaign Life Coalition rates Mr. Karygiannis as fully supportable because of his voting record on pro-life and pro-family issues.

In 2012 he voted in favor of MP Stephen Woodworth's Motion 312, which sought to establish a committee to study whether a child in the womb is a human being, based on the preponderance of evidence from modern medical science.

Mr. Karygiannis abstained from voting on the transgender “Bathroom Bill” (C-279) that would add “gender identity” and “gender expression” to the Canadian Human Rights Act. Pro-family groups have warned that it puts young girls and women at risk by creating a legal “right” for men to access women's bathrooms and change rooms.

Mr. Karygiannis was first elected on November 21, 1988. He was subsequently re-elected seven times.

“The people who I want to thank the most are the constituents of Scarborough-Agincourt. They put their trust in me time and time again – for eight continuous terms,” Mr. Karygiannis said in the House yesterday. “I am proud to have served the people of Scarborough-Agincourt and hope to continue to serve them in the future in another capacity.”

“I say a special thank you to my political family, the Liberal Party, and the Liberal Leader, the Member for Papineau,” he said.

Mr. Karygiannis added that to be a Member of Parliament one needed the support of one’s family and he thanked his family by saying, “I am even more in love with my wife today than the first time I saw her 38 years ago and I thank her, my daughters, my sons and my mother.”

The full text of Jim Karygiannis' resignation speech is available here.