Prime Minister Stephen Harper today welcomed veteran Member of Parliament Joe Comuzzi as the newest member of the Government Caucus. Mr. Comuzzi becomes the Government’s first M.P. from Northwestern Ontario.

“Joe Comuzzi supported our recent budget and our historic deal which resolved the Canada-US softwood dispute,” said the Prime Minister. “So it feels very comfortable to stand here today with Joe and welcome him to the Conservative Caucus.”

Mr. Comuzzi is the latest in a long line of former Liberals who have joined the new Conservative Party. They include Lawrence Cannon from Quebec, David Emerson from British Columbia and Wajid Khan, from the Greater Toronto Area.

Mr. Comuzzi thanked the Prime Minister for welcoming him into the Conservative Caucus and said he looked forward to serving his city, his region and his country as part of Canada’s New Government. “I gave 18 years to the Liberal party,” said Mr. Comuzzi. “But it’s not my party anymore. Mr. Dion is taking it down a road I cannot follow.”

“What unites these new members of our team is their recognition that Canada’s New Government represents the way forward for our country,” said the Prime Minister. “I would like to extend a hand to other grassroots Liberals to join the new Conservative Party and work with us to build a stronger, safer and better Canada.”