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Ignatieff relents and 'has arranged to call Mr. Harper' with congratulations

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and his wife Zsuzsanna Zsohar leave Toronto on May 3, 2011.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Michael Ignatieff, the defeated Liberal Leader, will now be calling Stephen Harper to personally congratulate him on his majority election win.

Mr. Ignatieff's communications director, Leslie Church, confirmed in an email to The Globe just after lunch Wednesday that her boss "has arranged to call Mr. Harper later this afternoon."

Thank goodness this has been resolved. It was becoming a bit of an issue for the Tories, who were regarding Mr. Ignatieff's non-phone call as a snub.

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Never mind that Gilles Duceppe, the outgoing Bloc Leader, has not called. NDP Leader Jack Layton has; and the Green Party's Elizabeth May is also trying to arrange a conversation.

There was something about Mr. Ignatieff's failure to call that really irked the Tories - even though the Liberal Leader, who was the target of Tory attacks for many years, had publicly congratulated Mr. Harper on election night.

Dimitri Soudas, the Prime Minister's communications director, even took to Twitter to pressure the Liberals. " Former PM Jean Chrétien called PM Harper to congratulate him on the election of a majority #CPC Government," he said.

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Update Mr. Soudas described the afternoon phone call to reporters as follows: "A few moments ago, Mr. Ignatieff called Prime Minister Harper to congratulate him on his election victory. The Prime Minister thanked Mr. Ignatieff for his contribution to public life. "

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About the Author
Ontario politics reporter

Jane Taber is a reporter at Queen’s Park. After spending three years reporting from the Atlantic, she has returned to Ontario and back to writing about her passion, politics. She spent 25 years covering Parliament Hill for the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post and the Globe and Mail. More

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