The Right Honourable
Jean Chrétien, P.C.,B.A.,LL.L.,LL.D.,Q.C.
The Right Honourable Jean Chrétien
was born in Shawinigan, Québec on January 11, 1934, the son
of Wellie Chrétien and Marie Boisvert-Chrétien.
After attending schools in Shawinigan,
Joliette and Trois-Rivières, he studied law at Laval University.
He was called to the Bar in 1958,
and joined the law firm of Chrétien, Landry, Deschênes, Trudel
and Normand, in Shawinigan. He served as Director of the Bar
of Trois-Rivières in 1962-63.
Mr. Chrétien was first elected to
the House of Commons on April 8, 1963 representing the constituency
of Saint-Maurice--Laflèche. He was re-elected in 1965.
In July 1965, he was appointed Parliamentary
Secretary to Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson and in January
1966, to the Minister of Finance. On April 4, 1967, he became
Minister of State attached to the Minister of Finance and
on January 18, 1968, he was appointed Minister of National
He was returned to the House in the
June 25, 1968, election, representing the new constituency
of Saint-Maurice. On July 6, 1968, he was sworn in as Minister
of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and remained in
that post until August 8, 1974, when he was appointed President
of the Treasury Board subsequent to his re-election one month
He was appointed Minister of Industry,
Trade and Commerce on September 14, 1976, and one year later,
on September 16, 1977, became Minister of Finance. He held
that Cabinet post until June 4, 1979. Mr. Chrétien was returned
to the House of Commons for a sixth consecutive term in the
May 22, 1979, election.
After being re-elected with an unprecedented
majority on February 18, 1980, he was appointed Minister of
Justice and Attorney General of Canada and Minister of State
for Social Development on March 3, 1980. At this time, Mr.
Chrétien was given the additional task of Minister responsible
for constitutional negotiations. On September 10, 1982, he
was appointed Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources.
On June 16, 1984, Mr. Chrétien was
a candidate for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State
for External Affairs on June 30, 1984. In the September 4,
1984, election, he was re-elected as the Member of Parliament
for Saint-Maurice and as a member of the Opposition was appointed
Critic for External Affairs.
Mr. Chrétien resigned from the House
of Commons on February 27, 1986.
From March 1986 to June 1990 he was
a Counsel with the law firm of Lang Michener Lawrence and
Shaw with offices in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. He was
also a Senior Advisor with Gordon Capital Corporation in Montreal.
On June 23, 1990, Mr. Chrétien was
elected Leader of the Liberal
Party of Canada.
He was elected Member of Parliament
in the December 10, 1990, by-election in the riding of Beauséjour
(New Brunswick). He was sworn in as Leader of the Opposition
in the House of Commons on December 21, 1990.
He was re-elected Member of Parliament
for the riding of St-Maurice on October 25, 1993, when his
party won a majority of seats in the House of Commons. He
was sworn in as Prime Minister of Canada on November 4, 1993.
As Prime Minister, he was re-elected
Member of Parliament for the riding of St-Maurice on November
27, 2000 with his party winning a third consecutive majority
of seats in the House of Commons.
In 1981, he received an Honorary
Degree of Laws from Wilfrid Laurier University. He also received
an Honorary Doctorate of Laws, in 1982 from Laurentian University
of Sudbury and the University of Western Ontario; in 1986,
from York University Glendon College in Toronto; in 1987,
from the University of Alberta in Edmonton; and in 1988, from
Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. In 1994 he received an
Honorary Doctorate from the University of Ottawa, and in 1996
from Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan; and in 1999 from both
the Warsaw School of Economics in Poland and Michigan State
University; and in 2000, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
and Memorial University in St. John's.
Mr. Chrétien married Aline
Chaîné of Shawinigan in 1957. They have three children: France,
Hubert and Michel.