Federaal ethics commissioner Mario Dion goes on extended medical leave

Federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion is taking a prolonged leave from his job for health reasons.

Dion was appointed as the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner a little over a year ago.

Melanie Rushworth, the director of communications in Dion's office, says in a statement that ``despite these exceptional circumstances'' the work of the office will continue.

Dion has been in the spotlight in recent weeks as he heads up one of two parliamentary probe's into allegations Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or staff in his office unduly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould to intervene in a criminal prosecution of Quebec engineering giant SNC-Lavalin.

Dion told NDP MPs Charlie Angus and Nathan Cullen in a letter one month ago that he would look into whether anyone violated rules prohibiting public office holders from using their position to influence decisions that could further another person's private interests.

Rushworth did not name the SNC-Lavalin investigation in her statement, but said information will continue to be gathered in all ongoing cases.