POLITICS

Sana Hassainia, Quebec MP With Poor Attendance Record, Won't Run Again

02/05/2015 12:13 EST | Updated 04/07/2015 05:59 EDT

A Montreal-area Independent MP who has come under fire over her poor attendance record for votes in the House of Commons has announced that she will not run for re-election.

In a statement posted to her parliamentary website, Sana Hassainia said that she would continue to represent the citizens of Verchères-Les-Patriotes to the best of her ability as a "maman-députée."

In 2014, she was present for just 16 of 269 votes in the House of Commons.

Hassainia was first elected to the House as a New Democrat as part of the so-called orange wave in 2011 that saw Quebec send a record number of NDP MPs to Ottawa.

She left the NDP caucus in August to sit as an Independent over her inability to support the party's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"To declare that we are in favour of peace in the Middle East is not a position, in fact it's a non-position – it's a way to avoid the issue and postpone a discussion on a topic that angers," she wrote at the time.

Offers excuses for absences

Her latest statement also includes what she describes as "context" for her infrequent appearances in the House over the last two years, including a high-risk pregnancy with her second child, and the loss of her mother.

She also points out that it was the NDP caucus leadership that chose not to assign her to a House committee, and didn't put her in the regular rotation for question period.

"I wasn't among the star MPs who deserved to ask questions," she said.

In an interview with CBC News last week, Hassainia said that she missed the votes because she didn't feel that her vote as an opposition MP mattered with a majority government.

"So I allowed myself to do this, because it's not my little voice that makes a difference," she told CBC News in French.

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