02.15.2016 07:57 PM

20 years ago today. A good day. 

Those were the days. 



  1. Terence Quinn says:

    And the Shawinigan handshake was born. It was a good day.

  2. Houland Wolfe says:

    Looks like a clear case of assault to me.

    • Peter says:

      Yes, it does, and it probably was. I think that may be why so many got a thrill from it. Sort of like the climax of a Disney movie when the bully finally gets throttled. The guy was a professional protester who had mastered the art of maximum disruption on the edge of the law. He and his group had just shouted down Chretien’s speech and he was lying in wait. No doubt he saw himself as the guardian of our ancient right to protest, but a lot of people just saw a pompous pain in the ass trying to wreck a party.

      • The Voter says:

        It would not have been expected for Chretien to take off into the crowd like that especially if the group was not supportive. Bill Clennett was hardly “lying in wait” since he couldn’t have known Chretien would be charging past him.
        My question is how Chretien and Clennett were able to come into direct contact with each other. Where was the security detail? What would have been the outcome if, instead of a small unarmed protester, Chretien had come up against someone with a gun or a knife? In the time it took for the PM to throttle Clennett, he could have been dead. If you have your hands around someone’s neck, their arms are free.

  3. This, for me, the greatest Chretien photo ever taken. I voted for him because of this photo.

    Bad. Ass. Yo.

    That is all.

  4. Iris Mclean says:

    Grabbing a peaceful protester by the throat? Body guards throwing the protester to the ground, breaking his teeth?
    I lost some respect for Chretien that day.

    • Justin, not in Ottawa says:

      Imagine if it was Harper, half of the posters on here would be calling him ‘Hitler’ or something as silly.

      • Jack D says:

        You’re fucking obtuse.

        Is your sole purpose in life to compare every situation with a hypothetical one with Stephen Harper in it to make an insipid, meaningless point?

        By the way, we all damn well know what Stephen Harper would do in a moment of danger –run for the nearest closet.

        • Warren says:

          Jack, last warning. Keep it civil or you’re gone.

          • Jack D says:

            I meant to say “you’re *being* fucking obtuse”.

            Probably doesn’t make it much better, but my intention wasn’t to name call.

        • The Doctor says:

          Re the hiding in the closet thing — you’re so right. If a Liberal PM had been in the Parliament buildings when a live terrorist shooter was rampaging through there, said Liberal PM would have disregarded the instructions of his RCMP security detail, bolted out into the hallway and gotten shot. This has been scientifically proven BTW, you can look it up.

        • SG says:

          Was Mr. Chretien in danger when he grabbed that protester? What’s the bravest thing YOU’VE ever done? Entertain us.

          • Jack D says:

            When one is charged at, by an individual emerging from a crowd of people, would one not immediately perceive the sudden action as dangerous?

            Seeing as Chretien was in an hostile crowd, I think the possibility of someone attacking him would be a reasonable thought to cross the PM’s mind at the moment. So he reaction was completely warranted given the circumstances.

            I really don’t know what the bravest thing I’ve ever done is, but I can tell you my first instinct wouldn’t be to look for a place to hide while the rest of my friends and colleagues face danger. Perhaps you could enlighten me as to what type of bravery you believe should be displayed by people who carry on such bravado that fails to materialize in moments most important.

          • SG says:

            Jack, you made that up. He was not in a “hostile crowd” and nobody charged at him. Chretien made an unprovoked attack on a peaceful protester/bystander. To you that means he’s cool. I guess you also think Jian Ghomeshi is “cool”? The rest of your comment was basically HDS gibberish (you’re an expert on what orders the RCMP gave on that tragic day?) and I don’t know whose “bravado” you are referring to.

      • SG says:

        Justin, not in Ottawa – when Brown’s PC’s win the Ontario election in a landslide in 2018, the Ontario-based contingent of HDS will transition seamlessly to BDS.

  5. Jack D says:

    Chretien was the last truly cool PM we’ve had, when you think about it.

    None of the succeeding PM’s have possessed the charm and wit this man does.

  6. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    I think this helps a little: wasn’t this soon after the breakin at 24 Sussex Drive?

  7. Houland Wolfe says:

    I seem to recall that when there was an intruder at 24 Sussex in the middle of the night, it was Mrs. Chretien who armed herself with an Inuit sculpture to protect her home. Some Shawinigan. Some handshake.

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