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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Stop the Presses: Statement by the Prime Minister Re: Belinda Stronach

May 17, 2005
Ottawa, Ontario

Prime Minister Paul Martin today made the following statement:

"Last night, after returning from Atlantic Canada, I met with Belinda Stronach at 24 Sussex Drive to talk with her about the current political situation, about all that is at stake with Thursday’s vote on the budget -- and, most of all, about what is required to build a stronger, better future for all Canadians.

We found that on critical questions of both policy and politics, we have much in common.

We both believe in centrist, balanced and moderate policies. We both believe in a strong economic and fiscal program. We both believe in the need to equip our people with the skills to compete anywhere, with anyone. And we both believe in the Gomery Commission.

Based on these shared beliefs, she and I have agreed that she fits more comfortably, can serve more appropriately and can contribute more substantially as a member of the government caucus.

Accordingly, I am very pleased to announce that Belinda Stronach will cross the floor and has agreed to join the cabinet as Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

In addition, Ms. Stronach will assume responsibilities for democratic renewal and will help guide the implementation of the recommendations that flow from the Gomery Commission’s final report.

I would like to take a moment to thank the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, who has so capably directed the ministry of Human Resources and Skills Development during this time in addition to her existing cabinet responsibilities and her role as National Campaign Co-Chair.

Finally, I want to thank Martha Hall-Findlay, who has agreed to stand down as the Liberal candidate in Newmarket-Aurora.

Before turning things over to Ms Stronach, let me say one thing further.

I am proud to have Belinda Stronach as a member of the government and as a member of my cabinet. She is capable. She has achieved great success already in the fields of business and politics.

But I am particularly proud to have her join us at this important time.

The significance of her decision is not that it necessarily alters the outcome of Thursday’s vote – indeed we still do not know whether the budget will pass.

The significance is that on Thursday, Members of Parliament will stand and be counted in the most-watched vote of the past 25 years. And Belinda Stronach has chosen to stand for what she believes is best for Canada.

She believes it would be wrong for the country if the Conservative Party combines with the Bloc to kill this budget and force an early election. And she’s doing something about it.

That’s gutsy.

And that’s why I’m proud to have Belinda Stronach as part of my team.”


Patriot said...


Now this really changes the complexion of Thursday's vote.

Question: Will Martin now get the one independent vote he needs to hang on (he already has the vote of Ms. Parrish sewn up). That would mean the speaker would need to break a tie and would most likely vote in favour of the reigning government.

Question: Are Belinda and Peter still an item? If they are, does that mean that we might see him move to the Liberal side as well, (pillow talk can have funny results sometimes.)

All very interesting stuff. It should be fun seeing how this fleshes out.

Gerry said...

It should be a very interesting vote on Thursday. It looks like the budget may pass afterall.

Michael I. said...

This is starting to look like a reality show.

Will the government survive?
Will the Accord deal die on the order paper?
Will Belinda and Peter's love continue to blossom?

Tune in on Thursday for the next episode of As the Stomach Turns.

Wince said...

She sold out for sake of a Cabinet position. You know darn well that the Liberals were targeting many of the opposition members and tempting them with promises of power.

In my opinion she has no credibility anymore.

1mylesh said...

Did she ever really have any wince?

Patriot said...

I don't understand why Paul Martin doesn't just offer a few more plumb jobs to members of the opposition. If he keeps it up he might end up with a majority government before the Thursday vote.

Anonymous said...

Crank up the T.V., it should be an interesting news night for any of you political junkies out there.

Jason said...

It looks like the Liberals will get a chance to gorge themselves at the public trough for a while longer.

So much for the wheels of democracy. The king is dead, long live the king.

Murray said...

I doubt the Atlantic Accord agreement on revenues will ever see the light of day. It is nothing more than a political football. Even if it makes it through the vote on May 19, there will be an election one way or another before it makes its way though the senate. This is going to die on the order paper as sure as I'm writing this comment.