Politics This Morning: Chrétien and Clinton talk Canada-U.S. relations in Montreal

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien, right, and ex-U.S. president Bill Clinton, left, will be in Montreal this evening to discuss U.S.-Canada relations. The Hill Times file photos

PUBLISHED :Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 11:50 PM

Good Wednesday morning,

The top political billing in North America in the 1990s is reuniting for the day.

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien and ex-United States president Bill Clinton are in Montreal today to talk about their time in office as part of an event hosted by the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) commemorating 150 years of cross-border relations.

The two ex-leaders, who were known to get long together during their time in office, will be at the Palais des congrès this evening for a discussion about U.S.-Canada relations. It’s the latest in a series of events organized by the CABC promoting its hardcover book “With Faith and Goodwill,” which explores the relationships between the U.S. presidents and Canadian prime ministers of each era.


Mr. Clinton and Mr. Chrétien worked together for virtually the entirety of each other’s tenure in office, and appeared to get along quite well, with the two often golfing together.

Mr. Clinton was in the White House from the start of 1993 to early 2001, while Mr. Chrétien served as prime minister from the fall of 1993 to December 2003.

Media interested in attending must be on site by 4 p.m.

In other news, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau is making an appearance at the University of Ottawa in her role as a Plan International Canada global ambassador.


Ms. Trudeau and Plan International Canada president and CEO Caroline Riseboro will be appearing at the school’s Alumni Hall this morning for a roundtable discussion with 15 youth advocates for gender equality.

The event is part of Plan International Canada’s #GirlsBelongHere initiative, which it says supports young women from across Canada to step into their “dream jobs for a day” to illustrate a “girl’s right to be seen and heard in places where females are traditionally underrepresented.”

Media registration and setup for the event runs from 10:40-10:55 a.m.

Meanwhile, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen is delivering an update on the recently passed Bill C-6 in Brampton, Ont., at 10 a.m. Among the changes it brought in, the bill, which received Royal Assent in June, removed the grounds for the revocation of Canadian citizenship on national security matters and reduced the number of days someone must be present in Canada to apply for citizenship.


The former Conservative government passed legislation permitting Ottawa to revoke citizenship from dual-citizens convicted of certain serious offences. The Liberals promised in the 2015 campaign to scrap the law if elected, with Justin Trudeau encapsulating his criticism with his oft-repeated though somewhat confusing line, “a Canadian is a Canadian, is a Canadian.”

Mr. Brampton will be delivering his update at Brampton City Hall.

In nearby Toronto at 11 a.m., Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains is participating in a panel discussion on Bill C-25, which brings in new rules on how corporations are governed in Canada.

The panel event, organized by the Ted Rogers School of Management’s Diversity Institute at Ryerson University, is being held at the Ontario Investment and Trade Centre in downtown Toronto.

Mr. Bains laid out his view on the changes introduced in Bill C-25 last fall when he moved for it be read a second time and sent off to a committee for study. According to Mr. Bains, the legislation includes measures to improve diversity on corporate boards and senior management roles, and reforms corporate reporting rules, among other changes.

In response, Conservative MP Diane Finley said Bill C-25 “came straight from our previous Conservative government’s 2015 budget,” adding that she was “pleased” the Liberals were advancing the work of the former administration.

NDP MP Brian Masse also backed the bill on the House floor, calling it “important” and a “positive initiative.”

Closer to the Hill, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan will be the keynote speaker discussing Canada’s new defence policy during a one-day conference at the Chateau Laurier hosted by the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. Unpacking Canada’s New Defence Policy: The Path to Strong, Secure, Engaged runs from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and also features speeches former Department of National Defence (DND) deputy minister Dick Fadden and ex-DND chief of force development Rear Admiral Darren Hawco.

As for Hill business, today is caucus day, and most MPs will be attending their respective caucus meetings, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Mr. Trudeau is also scheduled to attend the Families of Sisters in Spirit vigil, organized to commemorate the lives of missing and murder Indigenous women, in the front lawn of Parliament at noon, and Question Period at 2 p.m. He will deliver remarks at a Mid-Autumn Festival celebration at 7:20 p.m. in the Wellington Building. The festival is celebrated by many Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese communities.

Also this evening, Liberal MP Marwan Tabbara is hosting an Oktoberfest and German Heritage Month reception tonight in room 200 of the Sir John A Macdonald Building. Attendees will be treated to Oktoberfest sausage, schnitzel, and strudel at the event, which runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Last December, the House unanimously adopted a motion declaring October German Heritage Month sponsored by Mr. Tabbara, who represents a riding in the Kitchener-area, which is home to a larger German population. After all, Kitchener was originally known as Berlin.

Speaking of Hill parties, Beer Canada is hosting its Beer Fall Fête at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building from 6-9 p.m. Attendees will learn all about the Canadian beer industry while tasting a wide variety of samplings from across Canada that will be paired with custom culinary delicacies.

Have a great day!