Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

“I would say that I am in better shape than Biden and that I have more judgment than Trump,” jokes the former prime minister of Canada, in an interview with Patrice Roy.

Jean Chrétien celebrates his 90th birthday in Ottawa

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Jean Chrétien (Photo archives)

Radio-Canada

Jean Chrétien is in Ottawa to participate in a ceremony marking his 90th birthday and his long political career.

Born on January 11, 1934 in Shawinigan, Mr. Chrétien was the 20th Prime Minister of Canada. He served in this role from November 4, 1993 to December 12, 2003 under the banner of the Liberal Party of Canada (PLC). He had three consecutive majority mandates.

Passing on Patrice Roy's set at ICI RDI, the ex-politician, nicknamed “the little guy from Shawinigan”, looked back on his political career. He also spoke about his physical health, which he considers very good for his age.

I would say I'm fitter than Biden and have more judgment than Trump.

A quote from Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada

Elected as an MP for the first time in the 1963 federal election, Jean Chrétien held various ministerial positions in the governments of Lester B. Pearson and Pierre Elliott Trudeau. In 1984, he served as Deputy Prime Minister of Canada for a few months under John Turner.

Retired from political life since 2003, Jean Chrétien has never stopped promoting Canadian unity. He considers himself privileged to have had such a successful career in the House of Commons.

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I was lucky, but I also had experience. I had been an MP for 30 years before becoming Prime Minister. I knew politics and I loved it. My political opponents too, regardless of their convictions and ambitions, wanted to do their best and look good, he said.

Jean Chrétien was also asked about his greatest achievements as a politician.

We often talk about Iraq or other subjects, but sometimes we do things that no one knows. For example, I have established as many territories as national parks as the size of all of France. For me, this is important, especially to absorb CO2 in the air. But no one talks about it, he explained.

Another accomplishment that makes him proud is that of the Ottawa Convention on antipersonnel mines, concluded in 1997, on which he personally worked. This international agreement prohibits the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of antipersonnel mines.

Reflecting on his long career, Jean Chrétien says he has no regrets.

I don't spend my time saying what I could have done better. The important thing for me is the future.

A quote from Jean Chrétien, former Prime Minister of Canada

As Justin Trudeau prepares to run for a new term as Prime Minister, Mr. Chrétien was asked about the best time to leave the political scene. According to him, it is a personal decision.

Nevertheless, it is his wife Aline who made it ;convinced him to continue even if he wanted to step down after two mandates.

My third [mandate] was ultimately my best.

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