jean chretien
One-time Chrétien ally stands trial over alleged role in sponsorship scandal
A close friend of former prime minister Jean Chrétien will stand trial today on charges he orchestrated a kickback scheme in the 1990s as part of the so-called sponsorship scandal.

A close friend of former prime minister Jean Chrétien will stand trial in Montreal today on charges he orchestrated a kickback scheme in the 1990s as part of the so-called sponsorship scandal.

Jacques Corriveau, a one-time advertising executive and Liberal party organizer, was arrested in 2013. He is accused of fraud, counterfeiting documents and laundering the proceeds of crime.  

The allegations against Corriveau are related to activities described during the Gomery Commission, which released its released its final report 11 years ago.

The commission concluded that advertising firms in Quebec were winning contracts based on donations to the federal Liberals, with little work being done.

Corriveau’s trial is expected to last about six weeks and the Crown says it will call about 20 witnesses. Proceedings against him were postponed several times since he was charged.

Corriveau is likely to be the last person to be tried in connection with the sponsorship scandal.

A number of advertising figures were found guilty for their role in the scandal, including Jean Brault, Jean Lafleur, Paul Coffin and Gilles-André Gosselin.

A federal bureaucrat, Chuck Guité, was also found guilty of defrauding the federal government of $2 million.

The RCMP says it is not actively pursuing any other investigations related to the scandal.

Who should you fight: Canadian Prime Ministers

Sir John A Macdonald: Don’t fight Macdonald. You will lose. He’s Scottish and drunk and probably would throw a whiskey bottle through your head. He would absolutely fight dirty. You don’t build a country without fighting dirty.

Alexander Mackenzie: You could probably take Mackenzie, but he was a builder as a young man, so it wouldn’t be a cakewalk.

John Abbott: The first of the PMs nobody can name. I mean, sure, go for it, but nobody will know who you’re talking about when you win.

John Thompson: He was overweight enough that he died in office from a heart attack. You’d win, feel bad, AND nobody would know who you were talking about.

Mackenzie Bowell: Make a poop joke about his last name. He’d kick your ass, but it would be funny.

Charles Tupper: He may have only been PM for 69 days, but if you made a crack about his neckbeard, he’d probably lose it and beat you in a rage. Not worth it.

Wilfrid Laurier: Fight Laurier. Get him talking about a grand vision for Canada and drop him in the gut. You can win this one.

Robert Borden: You might lose to Borden, but wouldn’t it feel good to sock someone who ran under “A White Canada” in the mouth?

Arthur Meighen: Absolutely fight Meighen. Meighen looks like he has never worked a day with his hands. Tell him he was one of the least effective Prime Ministers and then Winnipeg Strike his ass.

William Mackenzie King: Oh man, this would not go well. Built like a brick wall and he would probably summon up ghosts. He’d tell you it he’d want to fight in English and deny it in French, and he’d just absorb whatever you threw at him.

R. B. Bennett: Remind him he is considered the worst Prime Minister this country has ever seen. He’ll go off and sulk in England and you’ll win by default.

Louis St. Laurent: I mean, I guess you could fight St. Laurent. You’d probably win, but nobody seems to feel strongly about him on pretty much anything, so is it worth it?

John Diefenbaker: Don’t fight Dief. Dief the Chief would go into some wild prairie prophet trance and would keep on hitting you long after you stopped moving. And if you somehow won, you’d then have to deal with all of Saskatchewan seeking revenge. Laugh now, but even if you can see them coming for three days, they will never, ever stop.

Lester B. Pearson: Why would you fight Mike Pearson? What kind of person would see that bowtie and Nobel Peace Prize and want to fight? You’d win and you would feel horrible.

Pierre Trudeau: DO NOT FIGHT TRUDEAU. Pierre isn’t a big man, but he’s all wiry muscle and insouciance. He’d probably have a knife under his rose and he would hit you with a saucy quip as you lay bleeding on the floor.

Joe Clark: What did Joe ever do to you? Go fight Mulroney instead.

John Turner: You could take Turner, he’d have no option.

Brian Mulroney: You think Mulroney would be a fighter, but that chin is made of glass. Everybody in Atlantic Canada would help you, and it would bring the country together.

Kim Campbell: Again, why would you fight Campbell? She wasn’t PM long enough to do anything. Fight Mulroney.

Jean Chretien: DO NOT FIGHT CHRETIEN. DO. NOT. FIGHT. CHRETIEN. When Chretien was a child, he started a new semester by finding the biggest kid in his grade and beating the shit out of him. You’re lucky if all he does is give you the Shawinigan Handshake. He will fight hard, he will fight dirty, and he will destroy you.

Paul Martin: Tell him that his legacy is overshadowed by Chretien. Easy win.

Stephen Harper: You’d think this would be an easy win, but Harper is like 6″2′. If you got the drop on him, you could lay him out, but if you got him mad enough he would probably snap and channel all that rage he’s been holding in into a flailing fury.

Justin Trudeau: He’s young, athletic, and a boxer. In a fair fight he’d go into his yoga trance and beat you. Use dirty tactics. Be careful that he does not seduce you instead.


Former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, now 81, water skiing - on one ski.

“I believe the best ‎contribution Canada can make is by engaging in massive, not token, humanitarian assistance. It is why in answer to the questions asked of me, I support the position of Justin Trudeau,” Mr. Chrétien writes in a column to be published in Friday’s Globe and Mail.

I’m sure I’ve posted this more than three separate times, but I don’t really care…
8 unlikely jobs held by future prime ministers

Before they assumed the highest office in the country, these eight individuals held an unusual array of jobs:

1. Robert Borden, teenage classics teacher: Canada’s eighth prime minister studied Greek and Latin from a young age. When he was 14, the classics teacher at his private day school, near his home in Nova Scotia, abruptly left
for another posting and Borden was promoted from student to “assistant master” in charge of classical studies.

2. Jean Chrétien, black market chocolatier: While attending school at St. Joseph Seminary in Trois-Rivières, Que., Chrétien earned spending money by peddling illicit chocolate bars to fellow pupils. A friend on the outside bought the bars wholesale, and Chrétien sold them at a steep markup, hiding the goods from the authorities in the lining of his red raincoat.

3. Lester B. Pearson, apprentice sausage stuffer: After graduating from the University of Toronto in 1919, Pearson joined Armour and Company, a Chicago-based meat-processing firm. He spent two years with the company, including a stint as an apprentice on the sausage-stuffing floor.

4. John Diefenbaker, door-to-door Bible salesman: In the summer of 1915, after he received
a bachelor of arts from the Univer- sity of Saskatchewan, Diefenbaker and a friend took jobs with the John A. Hertel Co. of Chicago, selling titles like The Chosen Word and Catholic Bible Symbols in the rural Prairies.

5. Alexander Mackenzie, stonemason: The third of 10 sons from a Scottish carpenter’s family, Mackenzie apprenticed as a stonemason at the age of 16. After moving to Canada with the family of his future wife, he carved out a reputation as a foreman and contractor on major canal sites.

6. Mackenzie Bowell, printer’s devil: Initially trained as a cabinet maker, Bowell went to work as a printer’s apprentice at the Belleville Intelligencer newspaper in the mid-1830s.

7. Brian Mulroney, boy singer: As a boy in Baie-Comeau, Que., Mulroney sang Irish songs for Col. Robert McCormick, the American newspaper magnate who founded the town. Legend has it McCor- mick slipped the seven-year-old future PM $50 for his trouble.

8. Kim Campbell, fish packer: To pay for her education at the University of British Columbia, Campbell worked as a packer at a fish plant in Prince Rupert, B.C. According to one biography, she hasn’t eaten halibut since.


Meanwhile in Canada (well, North Carolina)… Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, 79, spotted wakeboarding
“He’s a strong man for his age, I can tell you that,” Mr. Luckett said from a dock in Buxton, N.C.
Former PM Chretien calls for pot possession to be decriminalized
The former prime minister says it is unacceptable for anyone to be saddled with a criminal record for simply smoking marijuana.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien says it’s time for Canada to decriminalize marijuana possession, saying the change is long overdue.

Chrétien made the comment today after taking part in a ceremony to mark the official opening of a public policy think-tank at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

The former prime minister says it is unacceptable for anyone to be saddled with a criminal record for simply smoking marijuana.

When Chrétien was prime minister, his government tried in 2003 to pass a law decriminalizing simple possession of small amounts of marijuana, but the bill died when Parliament was prorogued.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to legalize the sale of marijuana — a more ambitious goal — but his government has said Criminal Code provisions on marijuana must be upheld in the meantime.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has said the government should decriminalize marijuana right away.

I know that the days since September 11, 2001, have been ones of great sadness and anxiety for Muslims across Canada. Because the cold-blooded killers who committed the atrocities in New York and Washington invoked the name and words of Islam as justification, many of your faith have felt constrained when expressing your sympathy and solidarity with the victims. This despite the fact that many Muslims also perished in the attacks. Worse, some of you have been singled out for denunciation and violence, acts that have no place in Canada, or any civilized nation, and have made me feel shame as prime minister. I wanted to stand by your side today and to reaffirm with you that Islam has nothing to do with the mass murder that was planned and carried out by the terrorists and their masters. Like all faiths, Islam is about peace, about justice, and about harmony among all people.

—Jean Chrétien, Prime Minister of Canada 1993-2003, addressing a crowd at a Masjid in Ottawa on Sept. 21, 2001.

“Chrétien opposed the US-led invasion of Iraq, which started exactly 10 years ago to this day, unless the military intervention received UN authorization. It never did.”
Jean Chrétien comments on Attawapiskat 'fundamentally wrong,' indigenous studies prof says
Land programs could help teach and reaffirm knowledge of traditional activities, Jacqueline Romanow says

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien’s comments on the substandard living conditions facing many remote First Nations communities are “fundamentally wrong,” says the chair of indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg.

“It displays a fundamental misunderstanding about indigenous culture, about what indigenous people want, about the nature of indigenous communities and indigenous lives,” Jacqueline Romanow said.

Jacqueline Romanow, chair of indigenous studies at the University of Winnipeg, called Chrétien’s comments ‘fundamentally wrong.’ (CBC)

Members of Parliament held an emergency debate on the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat on Tuesday. Chrétien, who was minister from 1968 to 1974 of what was then called Indian Affairs and Northern Development, was on Parliament Hill earlier that day for unrelated business.

Reporters asked Chrétien about the suicide crisis in Attawapiskat and he suggested the solution for some First Nations people may be to leave their isolated communities. He also suggested there’s not enough economic activity on some reserves.

“I think that’s fundamentally wrong,” Romanow said. “I’m disappointed.”

On Saturday night alone, 11 people tried to commit suicide in the remote northern Ontario First Nation. Attawapiskat Chief Bruce Shisheesh declared a state of emergency.

Romanow said the government forced indigenous people onto reserves, which were far away from the resources that were available at the time. Indigenous communities are still feeling the effects, she said.

“The problem is that indigenous people have had their rights to their resources and their traditional territories taken away from them, and they’ve been forcibly impoverished. They’ve been pushed on reserves,” she said.

“Reserves were never meant to sustain communities or human beings. They were meant as temporary holdings cells until they could be assimilated into Canadian culture through things like residential schools.”

People can’t be forced to relocate from the homes they and their families have lived in for decades, Romanow said.

“That seems cruel to me,” she said.

Land programs would help teach and reaffirm people’s knowledge about traditional activities, such as hunting and gathering, Romanow said. The federal government also has to allow indigenous people to benefit from resources on their land, she said.

“We have to not dismantle reserves, we have to open them up and allow people back onto their traditional territory and let them figure out the answers.”