Sheila Copps' scorching new portrayal of &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/18/90/361/12310_Forbes.html ' target=_blank>Paul Martin suggests he would have had Canadian soldiers fighting in Iraq while he was undermining medicare and the CBC at home. The former cabinet minister, who resolutely stayed in an unwinnable race for the Liberal leadership against Martin last year, has written Worth Fighting For, a book that depicts the prime minister as a sneaky, self-aggrandizing hypocrite who sabotaged his cabinet colleagues.
The personal barbs aimed at Martin, and particularly, his deputy chief of staff Karl Littler, provoked outrage from the Prime Minister's Office along with a flat denial of all of Copps' accusations.
"Ms. Copps' claims have been thoroughly discredited," said Melanie Gruer, Martin's assistant director of communications. "Not only are they untrue, but she stoops so low as to call the prime minister's deputy chief of staff '&to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2003/04/10/45871.html ' target=_blank>Hitler.' It's impossible to excuse.", wrote London Free Press.
But Copps' version of events don't match up with anyone else's memory of those times — or, more significantly, a record of the 1995 budget-making process more rigorously recounted in Edward Greenspon and Anthony Wilson-Smith's book, Double Vision. That account, which seems to have come in part from Copps herself, shows that she did indeed get involved in the cause of health in the 1995 budget, but not to the radically skewed degree she has described in her own new book — and not in any serious way at odds with Martin, then finance minister.
As Double Vision describes it, Copps only got involved after the budget was released in February, 1995 — not before, as her book argues. It was about two weeks after the historic budget had been tabled and there was haggling over the bill to implement the budget.