According to a family spokesperson, Aline Chretien, 84, died peacefully on Saturday morning, surrounded by family at her home in Shawinigan, Que. She was the wife and trusted partner of former Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Chretien will be remembered as a persistent and devoted partner who played a quiet yet significant role in Canadian politics. However, the reason for her death was not indicated. After the announcement of her death, people condoled with the family, indicating her influential role as the former prime minister’s confidant who was influential in several of her husband’s political resolutions.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Chretien was a strong mother and a devoted wife for over 60 years, who tirelessly supported one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers at the country’s most pivotal moments. Trudeau said Canadians owe an outstanding debt to Aline, who faithfully served Quebecers and all Canadians championed multiculturalism and bilingualism and helped bring us closer together. He concluded that she was authentic and honest and taught people the usefulness of persevering, even when things get tough.
Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, and Quebec Premier Francois Legault also presented their condolences on Twitter. A former astronaut, Gov. Gen. Julie Payette, shared a photo of Chretien at her first launch into space and wrote that Chretien was a woman of heart, attentive and generous. She wrote, “my sincere condolences to her family.” Besides, Aline was helpful in all significant political decisions of her husband. She could let him know when she believed he was moving too aggressively.
The former public safety minister Ralph Goodale tweeted that it was such a great loss as Aline was a wonderful, gracious lady and a brilliant advisor about politics and life. Ralph noted that she and Mr. Chretien were devoted to each other, and people will all miss her deeply. Additionally, the former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen Harper also offered their condolences, noting the couple’s unwavering bond.
Harper wrote that the two were saddened to learn the death of Aline Chrétien. They said that they will always remember her kind nature and unwavering devotion to her beloved husband, Jean, and their family. They will join other Canadians in thanking Aline for her lifelong service to the country. Besides, Bob Rae, the former Ontario premier and current UN ambassador, stated that Chretien would be missed for her “gentle dignity, kindness, and generosity of spirit.” He wrote that they had the pleasure of knowing Aline Chretien for over 50 years, and her gentle dignity, kindness, and generosity of spirit will stay with people forever.