Stronach tight lipped

ALAN FINDLAY

, Last Updated: 5:42 AM ET

OTTAWA -- If she's kissing, she's not telling.

Belinda Stronach refused to say yesterday whether she did or didn't have an affair with former Toronto Maple Leafs tough-guy Tie Domi.

The allegation about the high-profile Liberal MP for Newmarket-Aurora comes courtesy of Domi's estranged wife in recently filed divorce papers. In them, Leanne Domi says her husband admitted to adultery last January, when he was helping Stronach's re-election campaign.

On her way into the House of Commons yesterday, Stronach said the issue is between Domi and his wife.

"There's been a lot written about me, and I'm not going to comment on those allegations -- whether they're true, they're false or they're somebody's opinion," said Stronach.

She later appeared on CTV Newsnet and questioned if she would have to face such questions if she was a man.

"I'd like to say in a country like Canada there isn't, but I do believe there is a double standard, and it's very unfortunate," she said. "It's very unfortunate for other women who want to seek public office in this country."

Stronach also held a media scrum to discuss Conservative government budget cuts to the Status of Women Canada agency, but walked away when the only questions focused on her alleged affair with Domi.

Liberal Leader Bill Graham said he didn't think the allegations levelled against Stronach affect her job as a federal politician or the party's caucus.

"Unless it impinges on their public duties, it is not relevant to Canadians," said Graham.

NDP MP Pat Martin said while MPs' personal lives are their own, being "flamboyant" can erode one's credibility.

"In this case, her personal life is overshining her lacklustre professional performance by a factor of 10 to one," he said. "I'm getting tired of opening the pages and reading about Belinda Stronach's love life when her own party is in tatters and there are so many issues facing the agenda. I resent that her love life is dominating the headlines.


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