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PM pushes for order in caucus (Globe and Mail)

Globe and Mail
October 10, 2002

Jane Taber

PM pushes for order in caucus


OTTAWA Prime Minister Jean Chretien attempted to rein in his increasingly unruly caucus yesterday, warning cabinet ministers to stop taking "cheap shots" at each other and chastising his troops for leaking details of their weekly closed-door sessions to the news media. Minutes after that warning, however, several Liberal MPs, supporters of Paul Martin in the race to succeed Mr. Chretien, were outside the caucus room criticizing the handling of a controversy surrounding Solicitor-General Lawrence MacAulay,

While they did not demand Mr. MacAulay's resignation, they argued that he is being treated differently than former defence minister Art Eggleton, who was fired from cabinet last spring.


Mr. Chretien also faced opposition from another caucus member over Mr. Manley's remarks.

However, he dismissed calls by Liberal Senator Anne Cools to have Mr. Manley replaced as the Queen's escort for the Ottawa portion of her visit. In fact, some Liberal MPs say the Prime Minister and Mr. Manley smirked while Senator Cools took Mr. Manley to task for his comments.

One MP noted that the very fact the Prime Minister had to lecture his caucus about the leaks was an indication that his pleas for unity have not "found fertile ground."