Michael Ignatieff and Jack Layton categorically rejected rumours on Wednesday that the Liberals and the NDP are considering any sort of merger.
Flanked by Liberal MPs Bob Rae and Dominic LeBlanc, Mr. Ignatieff emerged from his party's weekly caucus meeting to discount reports that senior Liberals were discussing the merger with senior members of the NDP.
"We had some discussion of this ridiculous discussion of fusion of the two parties," the Liberal Leader told reporters. "No one has any authorization to even discuss this matter. It's ridiculous. I am a Liberal. I am proud to be a Liberal. The people around me are Liberals. We are going to form a Liberal government."
It looks like Liberals talking to Liberals. Jack Layton, NDP Leader
NDP Leader Jack Layton dismissed as "fiction" reports of merger talks between his party and the Liberals.
"It looks like Liberals talking to Liberals," he said. "It's not credible. To have a discussion, you need to have two sides, two participants, and we don't have that. ... Nobody's assigned to talk to anybody about these topics."
On Tuesday Warren Kinsella - who was an adviser to former prime minister Jean Chrétien and was, for a short time, tabbed by Mr. Ignatieff to run the Liberal war room in the event of an election - told the CBC: "Serious people are involved in discussions at a serious level." But Mr. Ignatieff has said there would be no discussion about a coalition until after an election.
Instead, he said, he will spend the summer touring the country trying to drum up support for the Liberals. Last summer he did not do the big summer tour that is expected of Opposition leaders and paid for it when the Conservatives gained momentum.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said she did not believe the chatter about an NDP-Liberal merger.
"My understanding of the Liberal party was the Leader was pretty significantly the most senior of senior levels," said Ms. May. So if Mr. Ignatieff was not party to those talks, she said she did not believe they could have taken place.
"I think talk of greater cooperation in politics would be good. I would have loved to have seen the co-operation of the Liberals with the NDP to defeat the destruction of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act" in the omnibus budget Bill C-9 which passed in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.
Mr. Kinsella was good friends with the people that Mr. Ignatieff picked to be his senior advisers in the days after he took over the Liberal party leadership.
Those advisers were replaced when Liberal fortunes took a fall and Mr. Kinsella quit as head of the war room in May saying he didn't like the way they had been treated.
When reporters asked Mr. Ignatieff on Wednesday what sort of relationship he had with Mr. Kinsella, he replied: "I don't have any relationship with Mr. Kinsella."