Jean Chrétien

20th Prime Minister of Canada

Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien PC OM CC QC (born January 11, 1934) is a Canadian politician. He was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003 and the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1990 to 2003. During his career, he was a Member of Parliament (MP) in the House of Commons of Canada for over 35 years.


Jean Chrétien

Jean Chrétien 2010.jpg
Chrétien in 2010
20th Prime Minister of Canada
In office
November 4, 1993 – December 12, 2003
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralRay Hnatyshyn
Roméo LeBlanc
Adrienne Clarkson
DeputySheila Copps (1993–1996, 1996–1997)
Herb Gray (1997–2002)
John Manley (2002–2003)
Preceded byKim Campbell
Succeeded byPaul Martin
Leader of the Opposition
In office
December 21, 1990 – November 4, 1993
MonarchElizabeth II
Governor GeneralRay Hnatyshyn
Prime MinisterBrian Mulroney
Kim Campbell
Preceded byHerb Gray
Succeeded byLucien Bouchard
Leader of the Liberal Party
In office
June 23, 1990 – December 12, 2003
Preceded byJohn Turner
Succeeded byPaul Martin
More offices held
36th Minister of Justice
Attorney General of Canada
In office
March 3, 1980 – September 16, 1982
Prime MinisterPierre Trudeau
Preceded byJacques Flynn
Succeeded byMark MacGuigan
Member of Parliament
for Saint-Maurice
Saint-Maurice—Laflèche (1963–1968)
In office
April 8, 1963 – February 27, 1986
Preceded byGérard Lamy
Succeeded byGilles Grondin
In office
October 25, 1993 – December 12, 2003
Preceded byDenis Pronovost
Succeeded byLast member
Member of Parliament
for Beauséjour
In office
December 10, 1990 – October 24, 1993
Preceded byFernand Robichaud
Succeeded byFernand Robichaud
More...
Personal details
Born
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien

(1934-01-11) January 11, 1934 (age 86)
Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
Political partyLiberal
Spouse(s)Aline Chaîné (m. 1957; d. 2020)
Children3, including France Chrétien Desmarais
RelativesMichel Chrétien (brother)
Raymond Chrétien (nephew)
Alma materUniversité Laval
OccupationLawyer
Signature

Chrétien was born in Shawinigan, Quebec.[1] He studied law at Université Laval.[2] He became a politician in 1963, when he was first elected to the House of Commons. While Pierre Trudeau was Prime Minister, Chrétien was a member of his cabinet. He was the Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance, and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He was also the Deputy Prime Minister when John Turner was Prime Minister.

Chrétien was elected leader of the Liberal Party in 1990. The Liberals won 177 seats in the House of Commons in the 1993 election, meaning they were the largest party and could form a government. He was re-elected two times in 1997 and 2000 and led a majority government the entire time he was Prime Minister.

Chrétien retired in 2003. He was replaced as the Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Party by Paul Martin.[3]

Beginning of careerEdit

For the 1963 federal election, Chrétien was chosen to be the Liberal Party's candidate for the riding of Saint-Maurice—Laflèche in Shawinigan. He was elected in this riding and became a Member of Parliament for the first time.[4] After this, he became the parliamentary secretary for the Prime Minister at the time, Lester B. Pearson.

Beginning in 1966, he was the parliamentary secretary for Mitchell Sharp, who was the Minister of Finance at the time.[5] He spent a longer amount of time working with Sharp than he did with Pearson.

Chrétien was chosen by Pearson to be the Minister of National Revenue in January 1968.

In Trudeau's second cabinetEdit

The Liberal Party lost the 1979 federal election. The Progressive Conservatives formed a very short government led by Joe Clark.[6] After Trudeau and the Liberals won the election the year after, Trudeau chose Chrétien to become the Minister of Justice.

Chrétien was a very important person in the 1980 Quebec referendum, when there was a referendum on whether Quebec should leave Canada.[5] He fought very hard for the federal government and was against Quebec leaving Canada.

As Leader of the OppositionEdit

Turner stopped being the leader of the Liberal Party in 1990. There was an election to decide who would be the person to replace him at the June 1990 party conference.[7]

When Chrétien won the Liberal Party leadership election, the Liberals had the second-most seats in the House of Commons. Because of this, he also became the Leader of the Opposition. At first, he had many problems as the leader. For example, some Quebec Liberal MPs chose to leave the party after he became the leader.

Prime Minister, 1993–2003Edit

1993 electionEdit

When Brian Mulroney retired in 1993, he was replaced as the Prime Minister and as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party by Kim Campbell. She was a part of Mulroney's cabinet at the time.[8] Because elections in Canada have to happen at least once every five years, there was going to be an election in October of that year.

One of Chrétien's promises was that a Liberal government would remove the Goods and Service Tax.[9] It was created by Mulroney's government and was not very popular among the Canadian public.[10] Chrétien also promised that they would negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) a second time, and to bring down Canada's deficit.

Chrétien and the Liberal Party won the election. The Liberals won 177 seats and became the largest party in the House of Commons. The Progressive Conservatives lost almost all their seats in that election, winning only two seats.[11]

Political viewsEdit

Chrétien was part of the Liberal Party's left-wing in the beginning of his career.[12] While he was Prime Minister, however, he was very neoliberal and fiscally conservative.[13][14][15]

Personal lifeEdit

His parents were Wellie Chrétien and Marie Boisvert.

Chrétien married Aline Chaîné in 1957. They both knew each other when they were young in Shawinigan. Chaîné became one of the people Chrétien trusted the most when making important decisions.[16] They stayed married until she died in 2020.[17] They had 2 sons and 1 daughter.

Offices heldEdit

Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Herb Gray
Leader of the Official Opposition
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Lucien Bouchard
Preceded by
Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition
1984–1986
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Gérard Lamy
Member for Saint-Maurice—Laflèche
1963–1968
Last member
First Member for Saint-Maurice
1968–1986
Succeeded by
Gilles Grondin
Preceded by
Fernand Robichaud
Member for Beauséjour
1990–1993
Succeeded by
Fernand Robichaud
Preceded by
Denis Pronovost
Member for Saint-Maurice
1993–2004
Last member
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Turner
Leader of the Liberal Party
1990–2003
Succeeded by
Paul Martin
Preceded by
Allan MacEachen
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party
1984–1986
Succeeded by
26th Ministry – Cabinet of Jean Chrétien
Cabinet post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Kim Campbell Prime Minister of Canada
1993–2003
Paul Martin
23rd Ministry – Cabinet of John Turner
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Allan MacEachen Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
1984
Erik Nielsen
Allan MacEachen Secretary of State for External Affairs
1984
Joe Clark
22nd Ministry – Second cabinet of Pierre Trudeau
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Marc Lalonde Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources
1982–1984
Gerald Regan
Jacques Flynn Minister of Justice
1980–1982
Mark MacGuigan
20th Ministry – First cabinet of Pierre Trudeau
Cabinet posts (5)
Predecessor Office Successor
Donald Stovel Macdonald Minister of Finance
1977–1979
John Crosbie
Don Jamieson Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce
1976–1977
Jack Horner
Charles Drury President of the Treasury Board
1974–1976
Bob Andras
Arthur Laing Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
1968–1974
Judd Buchanan
cont'd from 19th Min. Minister of National Revenue
1968
Jean-Pierre Côté
19th Ministry – Cabinet of Lester B. Pearson
Cabinet posts (2)
Predecessor Office Successor
Edgar Benson Minister of National Revenue
1968
cont'd into 20th Min.
  Minister without Portfolio
1967–1968
 

ReferencesEdit

CitationsEdit

  1. "The Life and Times of Jean Chrétien". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. December 1, 2003. Archived from the original on December 14, 2006. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  2. "Le très honorable Jean Chrétien reçoit un doctorat honoris causa d'université" (in French). Université Laval. May 27, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  3. "When Jean Chrétien wouldn't 'pass the torch' 20 years ago". CBC Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. March 13, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  4. "The Right Hon. Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien, P.C., Q.C., C.C., O.M., M.P." Parlinfo. Parliament of Canada. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Right Honourable Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien". First Among Equals. Library and Archives Canada. April 23, 2001. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  6. Bothwell, Robert (May 21, 2013). "Elections of 1979 and 1980". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  7. Goldenberg (2009).
  8. "Kim Campbell becomes Canada's first woman prime minister". CBC Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 20, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  9. Fulton, E. Kaye (May 6, 1996). "Promises, promises". Maclean's. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  10. Simpson, Jeffrey (January 7, 2011). "The GST, hated by many, stands the test of time". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  11. Mansbridge, Peter (host); Schlesinger, Joe (reporter) (October 26, 1993). 1993: Tories trampled in Liberal landslide (television production). Canada: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  12. Taube, Michael (January 2018). "Jean Chrétien: Fox or snake". Literary Review of Canada. Vol. 25 no. 10. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  13. Plamondon, Bob (December 18, 2017). "Plamondon: Canada's most conservative prime minister? It's not who you think". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  14. Geddes, John (January 11, 2019). "This is what's wrong with Canada's Left". Maclean's. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  15. "Canadian Political Parties". Canada Guide. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  16. Fulton, E. Kaye (April 18, 1994). "A Very Private Lady". Maclean's. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
  17. Barton, Rosemary; Zimonjic, Peter (September 13, 2020). "Aline Chrétien, wife of former PM Jean Chrétien, has died at age 84". CBC News. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved September 13, 2020.

SourcesEdit

  • Goldenberg, Eddie (2009). The Way It Works: Inside Ottawa. McCelland & Stewart. ISBN 9781551992754.

Other websitesEdit