Monday, February 06, 2006

Jawdropper! David Emerson NEW Conservative Minister

Liberals woke up this morning with a punch to their stomachs as Former Liberal Minister David Emerson, crossed the floor this morning and joined the Conservatives as a Minister. Stunned onlookers watched Emerson wearing a blue tie, become Stephen Harper’s minister of International Trade, Pacific Gateway and 2010 Olympics!

Apparently several Conservatives angrily are demanding laws forcing floor-crossers to go back to the electorate for another mandate. See CP report. Minister Emerson is the only MP and Minister elected from any major city in Canada other than Fortier who is unelected but is from Montreal. Harper in his post swearing in speech said that it was he that decided to call him and that he offered David Emerson to join his cabinet. He also said that Emerson is comfortable in his new party and that he will not ask Emerson to run for a byelection as a Conservative in his riding. For Langley and BC hopefully Emerson on cabinet will mean continued investment. We suggest that Mark Warawa get real close to Emerson to get financial help for our overpasses that we need.

Another shock was the appointment of Michael Fortier, a key party organizer in Quebec, as public works minister, because Fortier is not an MP. Harper appointed him to the senate so that Fortier could have a seat in his cabinet. See for story. I guess this is his reward for getting 10 seats in Quebec! This is actually contrary to two things that Harper said he would never do. Appoint someone to the senate and secondly appoint a non elected cabinet minister. It is understood though that Harper does want Fortier to seek a seat as an elected Conservative as early as possible. Who knows maybe Paul Martin will resign his Montreal seat so that Fortier can run for it.

Many will suggest that Harper's treatment of Emerson and Fortier are contrary to everything he said he would never do.

Diane Ablonczy, Jason Kenney and James Moore did not get Cabinet seats as expected.

The 308-seat House of Commons now has the Conservative seat count up to 125 with Emerson's defection, it gives the 29-member NDP caucus clout as well as the sole independent MP in Quebec. If Harper gets the the independent and NDP on side the Bloc and Liberals can just watch from the sidelines. Look out for other defections to occur to solidify this seat count.

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