OTTAWA, Sept 1 (LSN) – Prime Minister Jean Chretien caused a stir in political circles earlier last month with the appointment of former Ontario NDP Premier Bob Rae to head up an international conference on federalism, which is planned to be held in Canada in late 1999. Although a member of an opposing party which claims to have different political outlooks Rae still fits the mould of a nepotistic appointment.  John Rae, Bob’s older brother was the mastermind behind Chretien’s successful election campaign.  But Chretien is no stranger to nepotistic appointments. His political maneuvering of old friends and even relatives into positions of power is quite impressive and spans all three political parties as well as big business.  The PM’s nephew Raymond Chretien was appointed Canada’s ambassador to the US and in October 1996 he was made a special UN envoy to Zaire. Chretien’s daughter France is married into likely the most powerful family in Canada—the Desmarais clan—being wedded to Andre son of Paul Desmarais the owner of Power Corporation. John Rae, brother of former Ontario premier Bob Rae, who was the leading strategist for Prime Minister Chretien’s election campaign, was Executive Vice-President of Power Corp. and Paul Desmarais’ right-hand man. Paul Martin, our federal federal Finance Minister rose through the ranks at Power Corp., mentored by Paul Desmarais. Interestingly Daniel Johnson (former premier of Quebec) and Brian Mulroney (former conservative PM) have also worked directly of indirectly for Mr. Desmarais.


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