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Political news: Chretien > Martin 12/12/03


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C B C . C A N e w s - F u l l S t o r y :

New prime minister takes over Dec. 12

Last Updated Tue Nov 18 12:53:52 2003

OTTAWA-- The long-awaited transition of power from Jean Chrétien to Paul Martin will take place on Dec. 12, the two men agreed on Tuesday.

That moves up Chrétien's retirement about two months – from the February 2004 timetable he set nearly a year and a half ago – and means Martin has some fast work to do.

"We've got to prepare now for the transfer of power," Martin said. "The first priority will be obviously to put together a cabinet and set up the Prime Minister's Office."

Tuesday was the first time the longtime rivals had a face-to-face business meeting in 17 months, since Martin left Chrétien's cabinet in which he served as finance minister.

Martin won the Liberal leadership at a weekend convention in Toronto, where Chrétien had joked that the secrecy surrounding his date of departure was the only source of drama.

There had been speculation Chrétien would stay in 24 Sussex Drive through Christmas, but he told reporters on Tuesday he was ready to move.

"The apartment is ready since six weeks," he said. "The bed is already made…

"Some say that Paul was patient – my wife was even much more patient."

Martin has been waiting since 1990, when he lost the Liberal leadership to Chrétien.

Chrétien said he would go to a meeting of Commonwealth nations in Nigeria in early December. The meeting will discuss a number of important issues, he said, and Martin will be busy forming his cabinet at the time.

Chrétien prorogued Parliament last week, leaving a number of key bills in limbo.

They include bills to create an independent ethics commissioner, redraw riding boundaries and add seven seats to the House of Commons, ban human cloning, and decriminalize possession of marijuana.

Chrétien said he believes those bills will still be passed.

Written by CBC News Online staff

Copyright © 2002 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation - All Rights Reserved

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I think that it will still pass. Liberals in Ottawa, Toronto and Queen's Park. A definite need for drastic improvement in tourism and the fact that Toronto has been needing another positive move since the SARS show this summer are both hints (I hope) that some minor things might actually change. (Pensive face)

Then again, PolitizeiFuhrer Fantino wants $50 tickets for Jay Walking. [Roll Eyes]

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