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Stronach showed 'total lack of ethics': Reynolds


West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country Conservative MP John Reynolds questions whether Belinda Stronach's decision to cross the floor from the Conservative party to the Liberal cabinet was done for the good of Canada.

"It's all about power, all about money," said Reynolds in a telephone interview.

Stronach and Prime Minister Paul Martin announced her decision on Tuesday (May 17), with Martin naming her the new minister of human resources and skills development.

Reynolds criticized the fact that she sat in on Conservative meetings over the weekend where candidates discussed election strategies while negotiating with the government.

"I think it showed a total lack of ethics," said Reynolds. "She's made a lot of people very mad."

Reynolds said neither he, their staff nor Conservative deputy leader Peter MacKay, who has been in a relationship with Stronach, saw this move coming.

In her announcement, Stronach cited unhappiness with Conservative leader Stephen Harper's alliance with the Bloc Quebecois, which she sees as a threat to national unity. In 2004, Stronach ran against Harper for the leadership of the Conservative Party.

However, Reynolds doesn't expect the loss of Stronach to have much impact on the party, as he said there are other good candidates running federally to take her place in her Ontario riding of Newmarket-Aurora.

Ultimately, he said, this isn't the first time a politician has switched parties.

"People are going to do what they're going to do in politics," said Reynolds.

As for how her move would affect yesterday's vote of non-confidence in Parliament, he said it all depends on what independents Chuck Cadman and David Kilgour do.

The combined vote total of the Conservatives and Bloc is 152 seats, with the Liberals, New Democrats and independent MP Carolyn Parrish, who have pledged to support the government on the budget, commanding 152 votes of their own. If the motion ties, by tradition the Speaker of the House of Commons votes with the government.

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