Danielle Smith, David Emerson, Belinda Stronach among high-profile defectors

Toronto-area MP Eve Adams announced on Monday that she is leaving the Conservative Party to sit as a Liberal, citing her dissatisfaction with the policies of the Stephen Harper government. CBC News takes a look at five other prominent floor crossings in Canadian politics.

A number of prominent politicians have crossed the floor to join other parties

Eve Adams was first elected for the Conservatives in 2011 in the Toronto-area riding of Mississauga-Brampton South. On Monday, she announced she is crossing the floor to join the Liberals. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Toronto-area MP Eve Adams announced today that she is leaving the Conservative Party to sit as a Liberal, citing her dissatisfaction with the policies of the Stephen Harper government. 

Adams was first elected for the Conservatives in 2011 in the Toronto-area riding of Mississauga-Brampton South, but had hoped to run again for the Tories in the newly created riding of Oakville North-Burlington.

A bitter nomination contest ensued and she was forced to drop out, partially because of allegations that her fiancée Dimitri Soudas, at the time the executive director of the Conservative Party, was meddling in the campaign.

Adams said she'll run for a Liberal nomination in the Greater Toronto Area but declined to identify the riding.

Here is a list of five other prominent floor crossings in Canadian politics. 

Danielle Smith

Nine Wildrose MLAs, including then-leader Danielle Smith, crossed to Alberta’s governing Progressive Conservative party in December, in a move some political observers called unprecedented.

The floor crossing reduced the provincial opposition party to five MLAs and increased the PCs seat count to 72. 

Smith defended her decision to switch parties in an interview with CBC Radio's The House, calling it a victory for the Wildrose Party. 

"We took down two administrations — the [Ed] Stelmach administration and the [Alison] Redford administration — that were leading the province in the exact wrong direction," she said.

"To me, it's declaring victory and uniting conservatives under the leadership of one person so that we can deal with some very significant challenges ahead."

David Emerson

David Emerson defected to the federal Conservatives in 2006, just two weeks after being elected as a Liberal MP in the Vancouver-Kingsway riding. 

Harper surprised political observers by appointing Emerson as trade minister on Feb. 6, 2006, the day the government was sworn in. 

During the election campaign, Emerson had promised to be a thorn in Harper's side if the Conservatives formed a government.

Bernard Shapiro, then the country's ethics commissioner, cleared Emerson and Harper of wrongdoing after opposition MPs complained that the prime minister broke the conflict of interest code for members of the House of Commons by offering an "inducement" to Emerson in the form of a cabinet position.

Belinda Stronach

​Belinda Stronach left the federal Conservatives on May 17, 2005, joining the Liberals under Paul Martin as minister of human resources and skills development. She had run for the leadership of the Tories just one year earlier. 

Two days after her defection, Stronach's vote was instrumental in keeping Martin's minority Liberal government alive. The vote on a budget amendment ended in a tie, broken by the House Speaker in favour of the government.

Lucien Bouchard

Several Quebec members of the Liberals and Progressive Conservatives, including then Tory environment minister Lucien Bouchard, left the party to sit as Independents  in 1990. 

The disaffected MPs formed the Bloc Québécois.

Jack Horner

Jack Horner was first elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative from Alberta in 1958. He was re-elected six more times. 

He lost the Tory leadership race to Joe Clark in 1976, and in 1977 he crossed the Commons floor to sit with the Liberal government. He was given a cabinet position, but lost his seat in the 1979 election.


Mobile users, view a slideshow on floor-crossings from The Canadian Press

With files from The Canadian Press

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.