(Courtesy: Former prime minister Jean Chrétien introduces Liberal leader Justin Trudeau at a campaign rally in Brampton, Ont., on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
One former Canadian prime minister had nothing but great things to say about a country he once led and people have mixed feelings about it. Jean Chrétien, 90, best known for running the country from 1993 to 2003, had some words for Canadians after he sat down with CTV News’ “Question Period” to discuss the state of the country at a time when Canadians are losing hope in government bodies.
When asked if he believed that the country still has noble politicians left, he responded by saying that, “We are all in fact trying to do better for the country. We might disagree on our way to achieve it but no one is elected a troublemaker,” he said.
He admitted some people in leadership positions have a “high temperament” but that everyone is doing their best.
Chrétien also took a jab at Canadian newsrooms by saying that in over six decades he hasn’t seen a headline showing the country in a positive light.
“I never woke up in the morning with one big headline [saying] Canada had a great day yesterday. We must have had at least one in these 68 years. Good news is not news, bad news is news,” he continued.
And when asked what he thought about Canadians feeling down and defeated, he asked what the anger was based on and to be a “realist.”
“We have the lowest per capita debt of the G7, we have the lowest deficit per capita in the G7. We used to talk about people not finding jobs. Now we can’t find people to fill the jobs.”
According to Chrétien, the business community is “always complaining” even though it hasn’t seen a recession yet.
In all, he says “Canada is doing better than everybody else” and is not broken.
This comes after a poll ,by Leger last year, found that 67 per cent of Canadians believed that “everything felt broken” in Canada.
He doubles down by saying millions of people around the world wouldn’t want to come to a broken nation, which is why they are all at Canada’s doorstep.
He says that the Minister of Immigration, Marc Miller, even said that Canada could open the doors to millions of people if the country wanted since it’s a land of diversity.
However, just recently Miller admitted that the number of international students coming to Canada has “gotten out of control” and the country could consider a cap.
Still, Chrétien doubled down and said Canada is a land of diversity with no violence or ghettos.
However, according to data released last year from Statistics Canada’s, police-reported crime in Canada increased in 2022 and reached its highest point since 2007.
And if you really grew up in Toronto, you’d know that there are poor urban areas occupied primarily by minorities that continue to be underfunded and underserved.
Meanwhile, Chrétien was also asked if current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should enter the next election after serving eight years, and he says it’s up to him to make that call.
“It is for him to decide. What is best for him, what is the best for the party and what is the best for the country,” he said.