Clark defects to federal Liberals 
OTTAWA (CP) - The former leader of the now defunct Progressive Conservative Party, MP Joe Clark joined the federal Liberals on Tuesday - a defection billed by Paul Martin as evidence of his party's progressive attitudes to broad party policies.

Martin confirmed he had spoken to Clark about his future and said the former Prime Minister indicated he now sees the future of his progressive ways as lying within the Liberal Party. "For me that's fundamental." said Martin.

Martin said it was important to welcome supporters of progressive thinking and move beyond past divisions.

About 10,000 party members later cheered when Martin said he welcomed its newest MP. "I need Albertans," he said during his speech, "and I need Joe Clark!"

For his part, the world renowned parliamentarian Clark stated "I am delighted to join this progressive party and build a broad, inclusive party for all Canadians. I wanted to be in a party that was progressive."

The assembled party members were somewhat surprised when Martin informed them that the Liberal Party would be changing its name to the Progressive Liberal Party. "What my esteemed colleague has convinced me of, and let me be clear on this point, is that the Canadian people want a progressive party. Therefore, with Mr. Clark we are also getting a new name - The Progressive Liberal Party of Canada! A broad, inclusive party for all Canadians!"

With Clark crossing the floor, the standing in the 301-seat Commons is: Progressive Liberal 172, Conservative 75, Bloc 33, NDP 14, Independent 6. There is one vacancy.

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