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Jack Layton Meets With NDP Caucus

Layton Meets With NDP Caucus

(CBC) - The NDP caucus is to meet for the first time Tuesday since forming the Official Opposition.

The meeting gets underway on Parliament Hill at about 2 p.m. ET with a speech by NDP Leader Jack Layton.

With 103 members, the caucus is almost three times bigger than the last time Layton met with his MPs. They will continue their meetings Wednesday and will assemble in what is new territory for the NDP -- the Railway Room on Parliament Hill, the room designated for weekly Official Opposition meetings. All of the parties hold caucus meetings every Wednesday.

The Liberals are also meeting Wednesday, and they are continuing talks on choosing an interim leader. The Conservatives have yet to meet since they won their majority mandate and are scheduled to do so next week, just ahead of Parliament beginning its new session on June 2.

The Railway Room is a long way from where the NDP met before the May 2 election. As the fourth party in the House of Commons, the NDP's caucus meetings weren't even on Parliament Hill. They were held down the street at the old Photography Museum because of limited space on the Hill during renovations.

Tuesday's meeting will be the first opportunity many of the re-elected New Democrats will have to meet their new colleagues. The majority of the caucus is made up of rookie MPs, some of whom met each other last week at an orientation session for newcomers from all parties.

Layton will rally his caucus and, according to a party official, lay out policy proposals that will be on the NDP's agenda when Parliament begins sitting on June 2.

Layton may announce his shadow cabinet at the end of the caucus sessions Wednesday, or, later in the week.

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