Middle East crisis ‘at the top’ of tory caucus agenda – Caucus meeting gave the PM a chance to ‘clarify’ the government’s position on the Mideast crisis

By Christopher Guly
The Hill Times

CORNWALL, Ont.-While some Cabinet ministers avoided any public discussion of Canada’s position on the escalating Middle East conflict in Lebanon, their colleagues in the federal Conservative caucus said the controversial topic was top-of-mind during their summer retreat in Cornwall last week. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (Whitby-Oshawa, Ont.), Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Michael Chong (Wellington-Halton Hills, Ont.) and Canadian Heritage Minister Bev Oda (Durham, Ont.) either deflected or referred Mideast-related questions to Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay (Central Nova, N.S.), who focused on possible humanitarian assistance to Lebanon in a scrum with reporters on Thursday last week.

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