TORONTO, December 5, 2003 ( – An article in Thursday’s Toronto Sun reports that “insiders say” Paul Martin supporters are working to purge the Liberal party of any MPs who are seen to not be fully supportive of the Paul Martin leadership and agenda. Nomination challenges are said to be underway against at least 23 sitting Liberal MPs so far.  Many of the targeted MPs named are hard-core social leftists, such as Sheila Copps, Jean Augustine, Bonnie Brown and Hedy Fry. Their departure from the political scene would be seen by many to be a blessing for the nation and would especially be a relief for those who value life and family. Far more difficult to understand is why the Martin machine has also apparently targeted Paul Szabo and Rosemary Ur, two MPs who are among the most principled and dedicated members of Parliament. This adds another item to the list of developments in recent weeks that are causing warning bells about a worrisome direction of the Martin government.  The Sun lists the following MPs as being in danger of losing their nominations to Martin-supported challengers: Sheila Copps, Robert Nault, Charles Caccia, Paul Szabo, Beth Phinney, Paddy Torsney, Jean Augustine, Sarmite Bulte, Bonnie Brown, Marlene Catterall, Carolyn Parrish, Maria Minna, Karen Redman, Rose-Marie Ur, Anita Neville, Hedy Fry, Sophia Leung, Stephane Dion, Clifford Lincoln, Carole-Marie Allard, Raymonde Folco, John Bryden and Yolande Thibeault.  Liberal leader Paul Martin is reported to be denying that there is a campaign to purge certain Liberal Members of Parliament but does admit the Liberals are looking for new candidates.  See the Toronto Sun article