Ousted Liberal Comuzzi helps Tories
clear first budget vote
[PoliticsWatch posted 1:45 p.m. March 21, 2007]
On the same day he was kicked out of the Liberal caucus after 19
years as an MP, Joe Comuzzi rose in the House of Commons Wednesday
evening as an independent to help the minority Conservative
government survive the first confidence vote on the federal
An NDP subamendment on the budget motion was easily defeated
as the Tories, Liberals, Bloc Quebecois and both independent MPs
voted against it.
The budget will face two more confidence votes next week on the
opposition amendment and the budget itself. The Conservatives are
expected to survive those votes because the Bloc Quebecois is
supporting the budget.
The Tories and the Bloc have 175 seats combined, more than enough to
pass legislation in the House of Commons.
Earlier on Wednesday, Liberal Leader Stephane Dion emerged
from the weekly Liberal caucus meeting to announce that he had
expelled Comuzzi from the caucus because of his plans to support the
"He said he will vote for this bad budget so then he's not any more part of our caucus because a vote on the budget, like a vote on the throne speech, is a vote of
confidence," Dion said.
"He's well aware after 19 years in the House of the consequences of what he's doing."
Comuzzi, who colleagues say will likely not run in the next
election, resigned from former prime minister Paul
Martin's cabinet two years ago when he refused to vote with the
government on same-sex marriage legislation.
The Thunder Bay MP has said he is voting for the budget because some
of the new money in it could go to a cancer research facility in his
"It would be silly of me to vote against that. I'd be voting against my
constituents," Comuzzi told a newspaper this week.
Comuzzi's ouster doesn't alter the balance of power in the
minority Parliament, but leaves the Liberals with exactly 100 seats
in the House of Commons. The Conservatives have 125 seats, the Bloc
50, NDP 29 and there are now two independents and two
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