, 10.24.2021 06:54 AM

CBC: Trudeau would have been ‘better served’ to listen to party’s old guard, says Chrétien

Story here. Key bits here:

“Former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have been “better served” if he sought guidance from his party’s elder statesmen, but that the current government has failed to reach out to him for advice.

“I’m not there, but sometimes I thought that, you know, they would have been better served if they would have looked to have older, experienced people with them,” Chrétien said in an interview airing on Rosemary Barton Live on Sunday. 

Chrétien said he isn’t passing judgment on the current Liberal government.

But, in a forthcoming book, he wrote that while “Trudeau and his team aspire to be reformists on a grand scale … their lack of experience for succeeding in that goal is more and more apparent.”

Asked about that remark by CBC’s chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton, Chrétien said the current crop of Liberals in Ottawa “don’t consult me,” and that he is fine with that.

“I’m not there. It’s not my responsibility,” he said.

Chrétien also noted in his book that rejecting politicians, and the politics of the past, are part of the Trudeau Liberals’ identity. 

“They say to whoever wants to hear that one of their great successes is in having sidelined the old guard,” he wrote in My Stories, My Times, Vol. 2, coming out on Tuesday. 

The former prime minister said that the reason he believes in the value of leaning on the previous generation’s experience is because he is a product of that kind of thinking.

…Chretien, who oversaw three majority governments between 1993 and 2003, said, as a person who likes brokering deals and compromises, he would “have enjoyed having [a minority government], in a way.”

“I preferred to have a majority government and the people of Canada wanted to give me a majority government, So what can I say?”


  1. Douglas W says:

    Chretien, along with Manley, Martin, Graham, McLellan: true Liberals.

    Fiscally conservative; socially liberal.

    JT is neither.

  2. shawn says:

    The current government under black face doesn’t care what the old guard has to say. Trudeau answers to the new guard which comes from Davos.

  3. Peter Williams says:

    Listen to the old guard? Jean Chretien or Paul Matin?

    Trudeau won’t listen to anyone preaching fiscal prudence.

    Also Trudeau won’t listen to anyone who has practical experience.

  4. Dave Usherwood says:

    Like his logic & thinking.

  5. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    [Broadly smiling.] It’s kind of fun seeing a distinguished former prime minister definitely not criticizing the current person who, at best, nominally fills that role.

    Every sentient Liberal knew how this person decided early on to throw his lot in with the Martinite leftovers and that ended repeatedly with highly predictable results — as soon as Trudeau’s track record was there for all to see — and dissect appropriately.

    So, what Chrétien is really saying, without expressly saying it, is that HimselfTM and company decided from the get-go that they knew better than Chrétien and boy, were they right! Ha, ha, ha. Too funny.

    • Douglas W says:

      “Chrétien said he isn’t passing judgment on the current Liberal government.”

      Well, of course he is passing judgment … in a passive aggressive manner.

      I wonder: why did Chrétien campaign on behalf of Justin in Brampton during the dying days of the campaign?

      Strikes me as odd: Chrétien championing Justin then, and body slamming him now.

      • Ronald O'Dowd says:


        It’s not as if he had any choice as a former Liberal PM. He had to. Must have been awkward especially if Team Trudeau really did try to blame him for Payette. Classy PMO.

        But the truth hurts: Chrétien is dead on. Had they asked for his advice, they would have at minimum, greatly increased their chances of winning that majority. But in their arrogance, they didn’t and thank God for that. Add to that how loyal Chrétien is to those who were always and still are loyal to him and you get…interesting times.

        • Sean says:

          BINGO! – its about his legacy.

        • Phil in London says:

          Actually he DID have a choice he could have declined to speak in public. Remember John Turner having no option in appointing every hanger-on the first Trudeau missed handing out candy too? Turner and Chrétien – great men compared to this group but both would rather die for the brand regardless of how it affects the country.
          Chrétien bares some responsibility for recruiting the punk as well.

          • Douglas W says:

            Well said, Phil.

            Chrétien could have chosen not to campaign for JT in Brampton.

            And now, hard questions are coming up concerning Residential Schools, and what Mr. Chrétien actually did know when he was Minister for that file.

  6. Robert White says:

    In Mechanical Engineering I learned early on to listen to the more experienced journeyman & veterans so that I made fewer mistakes gaining experience.

    Back when I worked at E.B. Eddy Forest Products in the Ottawa Mill my introduction to the Fine Paper making industry was delivered via a grey haired old veteran who grabbed me by the shoulders with both hands and looked me square in the face whilst he went on to tell me that ‘no roll of paper is worth my life’. That’s all he said to me, but he meant it.

    Mr. Chretien should have been consulted by Trudeau’s administration as a matter of continuity of governance admin/term-by-term so that all of the old guard are consulted with vis-a-vis experience.

    If the kids in short pants are so clever that they need not learn from experience then we have failed to teach the younger generations how to learn somewhere along the line. I’m from the same mindset as Mr. Chretien when it comes to learning and teaching new cohorts whereas Trudeau et al. think they are cutting edge when they can’t even pull off a majority when all is said and done post-election spending $610 million CDN.

    The same mistakes have been made by the NDP, CPC, Green, et cetera. It would appear that newer cohorts of leadership are under the mistaken impression that they are reinventing the wheel.

    Mr. Chretien need not worry about everyone behaving as the Trudeau Government given that some of us still adhere to the same general rules of learning that Mr. Chretien learned by. Today, it takes experience to understand experienced administrations and how the function seamlessly.


  7. Dave says:

    Nice burn.

  8. Sean says:

    BTW… where the hell was Martin during this campaign? I mean its basically old Martinites running the show now… My hunch is he didn’t want to touch any of this shit with a 10 foot poll.

  9. SuburbanGuy says:

    Feminists don’t listen to the patriarchy, right Justin?

  10. Brendan Kane says:

    Any comment about what Chretien said about Residential Schools?

  11. Dave says:

    Looks like the media is setting to purge Chretien. I don’t think he is going to be as easy target as they are used to. IMHO

    • JH says:

      Justin’s Journos in the press gallery have their marching orders from Katie. Same bunch she called upon to attack JWR during Lavalin-gate. Watch for the Trudashian gang bang of JC in the media during the coming days.

      • JH,

        Well, from me to all of them with love: you can all go fuck yourselves.

        We fell short this time but we won’t next time. Remains to be seen what happens to the leader in the interim. He’ll make his bed one way or another. And so far, it’s not looking too good. Harper would never have behaved this clumsily.

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