Canada

Martin official apologizes to Chrétien supporter

Scott Reid, Prime Minister' Paul Martins director of communications, has apologized to Warren Kinsella, author, lawyer and Chrétien partisan.

A top official in Prime minister Paul Martin's office has publicly apologized for calling a Liberal backer of Jean Chrétien a liar.

The apology was made by Scott Reid, the prime minister's director of communications, to Warren Kinsella, author, lawyer and Chrétien partisan.

In April, Kinsella had appeared before the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations.

Kinsella had complained about contracts won years earlier by the Ottawa consulting firm Earnscliffe, which has close ties with Martin advisers.

"The competition was flawed, the payment is excessive, the work is probably not needed, and the research community can be fully expected to blow the whistle on the political connections here," said Kinsella.

Memos he wrote in the 1990s about those contracts were used by the opposition to attack Martin.

On April 18, Kinsella went on TV to talk about his testimony. He implied that someone in the Prime Minister's Office had contacted him just before he he testified to the committee.

"I made an intemperate remark that I regret and apologize for suggesting that Mr. Kinsella was a liar" in regards to the TV statement, Reid's written apology said.

"Even in the heat of the moment basic civility dictates that such terms are inappropriate and unfair. I wish to withdraw the remark without qualification."