"I have more things to talk about than this!" He launched the day after his participation on Tout le monde En parle. In which he stated, among others, that he had eaten a lot of oatmeal and baked beans during his "difficult" life as a borderer.
Jean Chretien prefers not to tell the stories of lawyer, prime minister, ex-prime minster, and minister that he found in his new book, My new stories (Les editions La Presse). But he answered all questions with the passion that is characteristic of him. The 87-year old, who has been playing the authenticity card throughout his political career, says "I have nothing in hiding."
It is hard to believe
Jean Chretien reiterates his belief that he has never heard of any abuses inflicted upon young Natives who were forcibly sent into one of the country's residential school during the six-and-a-half years he was the head of the Department of Indian Affairs (1968-1974). .
Charlie Angus, NDP MP, said Monday that he found "a handwritten letter from 1968 by a teacher telling Jean Chretien about the crimes against children" at Sainte boarding school. -Anne, Fort Albany, Northern Ontario.
The former Liberal leader is now categorical that the missive was never delivered to him, more than 50 years later. Chretien stated that among the hundreds of letters sent to ministers' offices, there were "probably many that you will never see."
Is it not a problem that a minister isn't alerted by his administration to a concern in a letter he received? "Listen, if every minister understood everything in a ministry there would be a lot more work," responds the man with over forty years of political experience. There are many people who work for you. He [the minister] will know for certain, but he can't know who opened the doors at 9:15 in the morning. He adds that it's not his job.
It is hard for Mr. Chretien to believe that most Aboriginal children were sent to residential schools to "bring out [the Indian]" and solve the "Indian problem". Some children ended up in boarding schools because they "wanted to go to school", Mr. Chretien said, adding that he was proud to see that thousands of young Indians graduate each year, compared to a mere dozen when he first arrived at the Department of Indian Affairs over a century ago. "I don’t want to rewrite the history. It was sad. It's a regrettable thing, but it is important to consider the future. The task I believed was mine was to create a better Canada.
"There is no end"
Jean Chretien did not offer an apology for Canada's government to First Nations or Inuit, nor any other Canadian government official, unlike Justin Trudeau and Stephen Harper. "There were many people looking for excuses. There were the Japanese and the Italians. He recounts that they wanted to make excuses for the fact that we were not nice during wartime. While mentioning the fact Benito Mussolini, the ex-dictator, made his way into the interior frescoes. he Notre-Dame-de-la-Defense church in Montreal.
Jean Chretien doesn't take the sugar off the back of Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister. He begs Pope Francis for an apology to Indigenous peoples of Canada but to no avail. "Let him do it, fine. It wasn't how we worked. We looked at the future. He says that we weren't debating the past.
According to his "new stories," Mr. Chretien claims that he dissuaded Queen Elizabeth II of agreeing to James Bolger, the former Prime Minister New Zealand, to offer an apology in person on behalf of her monarchy. British for the treatment of Maori indigenous people by the British colonial administration. "To lighten the mood, I joked with him: 'Your Majesty! If you start, I will have you bring me to Canada. We have hundreds of indigenous communities so you will be down on your knees. He recounts his story for two years.