Warren Kinsella's chat with Alfred Apps

CBC’s Evan Solomon has just reported about Warren Kinsella having sworn an affidavit in which Kinsella says Alfred Apps, the Liberal party president, told him last month about “many conversations at a high level” between Liberals and New Democrats on the possibility of their parties merging.

As it happens, I interviewed Apps on this general subject last week and last night exchanged emails with him after CBC reported that secret merger talks have taken place between the parties. My story on Apps’s views will be published in the issue of Maclean’s that comes out on Thursday.

But I thought the main thrust of what he told me about the nature of any conversations about a merger might be useful now to those following this story. “There has often been idle banter between Libs and NDP,” Apps said in an email, ” and between Libs and Progressive Conservatives, but I have no knowledge of any serious or genuine discussions.”

He added that he has never talked about the merger concept with Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff or his staff. Of course, Apps does not say he’s never heard the unite-the-left idea kicked around. “When approached on this question informally,” he said, “I have always rejected the idea.”