Jean Chretien was Prime Minister of Canada from 1993 to 2003. He was Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, succeeding former Prime Minister John Turner who had been defeated by Brian Mulroney. Chretien defeated Kim Campbell in the 1993 election. After leaving parliament, Chrétien joined the Canadian law firm Heenan Blaikie.
Lobbying Trip to China
Nearing the end of his term as Prime Minister, Chretien met Premier Wen Jiabao in December 2003. The official statement issued by the Chinese government noted that Chretien "recalled his six visits to China in his tenure" and noted him stating that "he would like to work hard together with China to strengthen the two countries' comprehensive cooperative partnership."
Writing in the National Post, Kelly McParland noted Chrétien first major trip after leaving office "was a high-level, low-profile visit to China organized by China International Trust and Investment Corp., a vast state-owned conglomerate with holdings across the globe. It's into steel, aviation, communications, energy --- you name it. With Mr. Chretien was André Desmarais, president of Power Corp. and a director of CITIC Pacific Ltd., CITIC's Hong Kong arm, in which Power has a big stake. Mr. Desmarais is married to Mr. Chretien's daughter ... Power Corp has major investments and interests in China. Peter Kruyt, vice president of Power Corp, is chairman of the Canada China Busness Council. Andre Desmarais is honorary chairman. His father, Paul Desmarais, is founding chairman."
In July 2009 the Executive Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, Robert Friedland, announced that Chretien had been appointed as "senior international adviser to the company". In the media release Friedland stated that "Mr. Chretien will provide advisory services to Ivanhoe Capital Corporation’s affiliates through a contract with Global Mining Management, a private service company based in Vancouver, Canada. Global Mining is jointly owned by several companies, including: Ivanhoe Mines and its subsidiaries, SouthGobi Energy Resources and Ivanhoe Australia; as well as Ivanhoe Energy and the privately-held Ivanhoe Nickel & Platinum."
The media release featured Friedland stating that "Chretien was instrumental in advancing relationships between many Canadian businesses and rapidly industrializing China and its neighbour nations through his hands-on, prime ministerial leadership of a series of successful Team Canada trade development missions ... He helped Canadians realize the promise of their destiny as a Pacific Rim nation founded in part on Canada’s history as a central link in the maritime Silk Road that connected Asia with the Americas and Europe. Ivanhoe Mines is focused on mining, development and exploration projects in the Asia Pacific region, including Mongolia, China, Australia, Indonesia, Kazakhstan and the Philippines. We believe that Mr. Chretien’s experience and knowledge will be a prime asset in assisting the Ivanhoe companies to continue to build their businesses through opportunities that will be encountered in the energy and mineral resource sectors around the world during what is becoming the Asian Century."
Creamer Media's Mining Weekly notes that Ivanhoe and Rio Tinto's plans to develop the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine have not yet obtained approval form the Mongolian government on the project. "After a previous agreement failed to receive approval, a new draft agreement, which would give the government a 34% stake in Oyu Tolgoi, was endorsed by the Mongolian Cabinet in March, and the next step is Parliamentary approval," wrote Liezel Hill.
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- "Jean Chrétien, P.C., C.C., Q.C.", Heenan Blaikie website, accessed July 2009.
- The Consulate General of The People's Republic of China in Canada, "Premier Wen Jiabao Holds Talks with His Canadian Counterpart Jean Chretien", Media Release, December 11, 2003.
- Kelly McParland, "Jean Chretien and the power of China", National Post, August 22, 2008.
- Ivanhoe Mines, "Ivanhoe Mines appoints Jean Chretien, Foirmer Canadian Prime Minister, as senior international adviser", Media Release, July 8, 2008.
- Liezel Hill, "Ivanhoe hires former PM Chretien as 'international adviser'", Creamer Media's Mining Weekly, July 8, 2009.