Monday, Feb 06, 2006
Liberal Emerson crosses the floor to sit in Conservative cabinet
OTTAWA (CP) - Former Liberal industry minister David Emerson is crossing the floor and will sit in the Conservative cabinet.
Stunned onlookers barely had a chance to ask a question of the Vancouver MP and former head of lumber giant Canfor as he strolled into Rideau Hall shortly before the Tory cabinet was being announced. Emerson is the new Tory minister of international trade, with responsibilities for the Vancouver Olympics.
Pinching Emerson might be seen as Conservative retribution for the defection of Belinda Stronach, who went from being a Tory leadership candidate to a Liberal cabinet minister in about a year.
Several Conservatives responded by demanding laws forcing floor-crossers to go back to the electorate for another mandate.
In the recent federal election, Emerson was featured in televised Liberal election ads promoting the party in British Columbia as the best choice for voters.
He was also frequently under fire from the Tories in the last Parliament over a multibillion-dollar program in the Industry Department.