Jean Chrétien

Jean Chrétien was Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Liberal Party of Canada from 1993 to 2003. He was first elected PM in the Canadian federal election, 2003?, and ceded the office to Paul Martin about six months before the Canadian federal election, 2004 - see below.

Notable events of Mr. Chretien's term of office:

At the Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 2003, former Finance Minister? Paul Martin replaced Chretien. His only competitor, Sheila Copps, had been Deputy Prime Minister of Canada? under Chretien. Other Chretien ministers such as John Manley were to depart politics entirely.

aftermath and party split

Martin initiated the Gomery inquiry into the Sponsorship Scandal which played a significant role in reducing the Liberals to a minority? in the 2004 election and ending their reign and Mr. Martin's term as PM in 2006. One factor was former Chretien aide Warren Kinsella whose critique during and between these elections was savage. Another was the alienation of Sheila Copps who addressed a Green Party of Canada gathering after it had risen to 4% of the federal popular vote?, giving that party hope of attracting a former DPM to its cause. While Mr. Martin responded by an unheard-of effort to get members of other parties to cross the floor?, something Mr. Chretien had never done, their cabinet appointments were resented by many in the Liberals including many loyal to Chretien allies.

After the Canadian federal election, 2006, many considered the Party to have been badly split and unable to campaign effectively, and hoped that the Liberal Party of Canada leadership convention, 2006 would heal some internal rifts between senior figures loyal to Chretien and those loyal to Martin. Senior cabinet ministers who had served both Mr. Chretien and Mr. Martin were few but were considered to be the key to this effort:
  • Anne McLellan, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada? under both
  • Stéphane Dion, central in Clarity Act and the final ratification of Kyoto
  • Bill Graham?, named as interm leader? to steer the party in parliament until the new leader was selected

As of February 1, 2006, the Wikipedia article on the race divided potential candidates to lead the Liberals into Chretien and Martin camps.

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