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Jean Chrétien

Joseph-Jacques Jean Chrétien, CC, PC, OM, QC, prime minister of Canada 1993–2003, lawyer, author, politician (born 11 January 1934 in Shawinigan, QC). Lawyer and longtime parliamentarian Jean Chrétien was Canada’s 20th prime minister. Early in his political career, Chrétien helped negotiate the patriation of the Canadian constitution as well as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. As Prime Minister, he led the federal government to its first surplus in nearly 30 years. However, his administration also presided over a costly sponsorship program in Quebec that sparked one of the worst political scandals of modern times. His government committed Canadian forces to the Kosovo conflict (1999) and to the war in Afghanistan (beginning in 2002). Chrétien publicly refused to provide direct support for the subsequent American war in Iraq. The recipient of numerous honours and awards, he is involved in several international organizations dedicated to peace, democracy and other global concerns.

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Georges-Émile Lapalme

Georges-Émile Lapalme, politician (b at Montréal 14 Jan 1907; d there 5 Feb 1985). Leader of the Québec Liberal Party 1950-58, he left his mark as a reformer of the party and thus helped prepare it for its role as catalyst of the QUIET REVOLUTION.

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Jean Lapierre

Jean C. Lapierre, lawyer, politician, co-founder of the Bloc Québécois, and media commentator (born 7 May 1956 in the Magdalen Islands, QC; died there 29 March 2016).

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Grit

 Grit, a popular reference to a member of the LIBERAL PARTY of Canada. The nickname derives from grit, fine sand or gravel, which is often valued for its abrasive quality, and from an American slang term implying firmness of character, as used in the phrase "true grit.

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Sir Richard John Cartwright

Sir Richard John Cartwright, politician (b at Kingston, Upper Canada 4 Dec 1835; d there 24 Sept 1912), grandson of Richard CARTWRIGHT. The scion of a rich, powerful, conservative and LOYALIST family, he was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, which he attended 1851-56, although he took no degree.

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Minority Governments in Canada

A minority government exists when the governing party does not hold a majority of seats in the House of Commons (or provincial legislature) but is still able to command the confidence of the House. Minority governments also exist at the provincial level and in Yukon, but not in Northwest Territories or Nunavut, which do not have political parties and are governed by consensus governments.

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Union Government

Union Government In early 1917, during WORLD WAR I, recruitment for the CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE fell to a very low level. PM Sir Robert BORDEN, opposed to any reduction in Canada's commitment to the war effort, announced on 18 May 1917 that the government would introduce CONSCRIPTION to Canada.

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Patricia Duncan

Patricia (Pat) Duncan, business woman, politician, premier of Yukon (b at Edmonton, Alta, 8 Apr 1960). Duncan received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Carleton University in 1983. She then became Special Assistant (Constituency Affairs) in the office of Yukon MP Erik NIELSEN.

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Sponsorship Scandal (Adscam)

After a razor-thin majority voted in the 1995 Quebec Referendum for Quebec to stay in Canada, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien responded with various initiatives to promote federalism in the province. A sponsorship program began in 1996. Public money was directed from the Department of Public Works and Government Services to private advertising agencies to promote Canada and the federal government at cultural, community and sports events in Quebec. The media began questioning the spending and handling of these contracts. Two auditor general reports and a public inquiry revealed that ad agency executives and Liberal Party officials had corruptly handled more than $300 million; $100 million of which was funnelled from the government to the Liberal Party. Five people were found guilty of fraud. Along with several other issues, the scandal helped lead to the government of Chrétien’s successor, Paul Martin, being reduced to a minority in 2004.  

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Gordon Muir Campbell

His political career began in 1984 with his election to Vancouver City Council. Two years later, Campbell became mayor, an office he held until 1993. During that time, he also served as president of the Union of BC Municipalities and chaired the Greater Vancouver Regional District.