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.
Chrétien in 2010
|20th Prime Minister of Canada|
November 4, 1993 – December 12, 2003
|Governor General||Ray Hnatyshyn|
|Deputy||Sheila Copps (1993–1996, 1996–1997) |
Herb Gray (1997–2002)
John Manley (2002–2003)
|Preceded by||Kim Campbell|
|Succeeded by||Paul Martin|
|Leader of the Opposition|
December 21, 1990 – November 4, 1993
|Governor General||Ray Hnatyshyn|
|Prime Minister||Brian Mulroney|
|Preceded by||Herb Gray|
|Succeeded by||Lucien Bouchard|
|Leader of the Liberal Party|
June 23, 1990 – December 12, 2003
|Preceded by||John Turner|
|Succeeded by||Paul Martin|
Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien
January 11, 1934
Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
|Spouse(s)||Aline Chaîné (m. 1957; d. 2020)|
|Children||3, including France Chrétien Desmarais|
|Relatives||Michel Chrétien (brother)|
Raymond Chrétien (nephew)
|Alma mater||Université Laval|
Chrétien was born in Shawinigan, Quebec. He studied law at Université Laval. 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.
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. After this, he became the parliamentary secretary for the Prime Minister at the time, Lester B. 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. 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. He fought very hard for the federal government and was against Quebec leaving Canada.
As Leader of the OppositionEdit
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
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. 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. It was created by Mulroney's government and was not very popular among the Canadian public. 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.
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. They stayed married until she died in 2020. They had 2 sons and 1 daughter.
- "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.
- "Le très honorable Jean Chrétien reçoit un doctorat honoris causa d'université" (in French). Université Laval. May 27, 2016. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "When Jean Chrétien wouldn't 'pass the torch' 20 years ago". CBC Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. March 13, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- "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.
- "The Right Honourable Joseph Jacques Jean Chrétien". First Among Equals. Library and Archives Canada. April 23, 2001. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Bothwell, Robert (May 21, 2013). "Elections of 1979 and 1980". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Goldenberg (2009).
- "Kim Campbell becomes Canada's first woman prime minister". CBC Archives. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. June 20, 2018. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Fulton, E. Kaye (May 6, 1996). "Promises, promises". Maclean's. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- Simpson, Jeffrey (January 7, 2011). "The GST, hated by many, stands the test of time". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
- 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.
- Taube, Michael (January 2018). "Jean Chrétien: Fox or snake". Literary Review of Canada. Vol. 25 no. 10. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Plamondon, Bob (December 18, 2017). "Plamondon: Canada's most conservative prime minister? It's not who you think". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Geddes, John (January 11, 2019). "This is what's wrong with Canada's Left". Maclean's. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- "Canadian Political Parties". Canada Guide. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
- Fulton, E. Kaye (April 18, 1994). "A Very Private Lady". Maclean's. Retrieved April 25, 2020.
- 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.
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