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Jean Chretien

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Aug 8, 2014

Jean Chretien

A street-fighter with fine political instincts, Jean Chretien was an MP for 40 years and led three consecutive Liberal majority governments. Jean Chretien governments gave Canada liberal social policies and a healthy Canadian economy, including elimination of the deficit. In its later years, however, the Chretien government was marked by scandals over mismanagement and by a split in the Liberal party as Paul Martin pushed to take over the job of prime minister.

Prime Minister of Canada

1993 to 2003

Highlights as Prime Minister

improvement in Canadian economy, including eliminating deficit and a budget surplus for five straight years
passed Clarity Bill saying Quebec can only separate after a solid majority votes "yes" on a clear question.
active social agenda included Child Tax Benefit
ratified Kyoto Protocol
worked for global ban on land mines
pushed for establishment of International Criminal Court
supported the war on terrorism but would not send troops to Iraq without UN resolution for military action.

January 11, 1934 in Shawinigan Falls (now Shawinigan), Quebec


BA - St. Joseph Seminary, Trois-Rivi?res
LL.L. - Laval University


Political Affiliation

Liberal Party of Canada

Ridings (Electoral Districts)

Saint-Maurice - Lafl?che 1963
Saint-Maurice 1968
Beaus?jour (New Brunswick) 1990
Saint-Maurice 1993
Political Career of Jean Chretien

Jean Chretien was principal organizer for Quebec Liberal Party Leader Jean Lesage in the 1960 provincial election in which Lesage was elected Premier of Quebec.
Jean Chretien was first elected to the House of Commons in 1963.
Having had two years to work on his English as a backbencher, Jean Chretien was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to Prime Minister Lester Pearson in 1965.
He was Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Finance Mitchell Sharp in 1966.
In 1967, Jean Chretien became Minister of State for Finance.
He was appointed Minister of National Revenue in 1968.
Later in 1968, Jean Chretien was appointed Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, a cabinet portfolio which he held until 1974.
In 1974, Jean Chretien became President of the Treasury Board.
He became Minister of Industry, Trade and Commerce in 1976.
In 1977 Jean Chretien was appointed Minister of Finance.
He was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 1980.
He became Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources in 1982.
He took over the portfolio of Secretary of State for External Affairs in 1984.
Jean Chretien became Deputy Prime Minister in 1984.
When Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau resigned in 1984, Jean Chretien ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party, but was defeated by John Turner.
Jean Chretien resigned from the House of Commons in 1986 and returned to the practice of law.
By 1990 Jean Chretien was back and was elected Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
He was elected to the House of Commons again in 1990.
Jean Chretien was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition in 1990.
When the Liberals won the general election in 1993, Jean Chretien was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada.
Jean Chretien retired as Prime Minister of Canada in 2003.
Paul Martin became the next Prime Minister of Canada.