The Kingston Whig-Standard
August 14, 2002
Letter supporting PM angers Senators
OTTAWA - Liberal senators who support Prime Minister Jean Chretien have divided and angered fellow Liberal senators by urging them to sign a letter committing them to vote for the PM during the party's leadership review in November.
Toronto Senator Anne Cools was among the senators who refused to sign the document.
She said it was an "artificial" attempt to gather support for Chretien and would divide the party even further in the aftermath of former finance minister Paul Martin's departure from cabinet in June.
"It is going to expose the prime minister to even more misunderstanding and more suspicion," Cools said yesterday. "It will be seen not as an individual's initiative, but it will be seen as though the prime minister has contrived this - has engineered this out of his own selfish interests - to recapture support or affection."
Cools said the letter is bound to divide the entire Liberal caucus as well as the Senate caucus. "It divides senators into those who sign, those who don't sign, as though somehow or other some senators believe that they are greater supporters than others," she said.