If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of public life, says Jean Chretien.
The former Liberal prime minister had some words for newbie Justin Trudeau.
“If you do nothing you have no trouble, but you’re in big trouble,” said Chretien. “So you know you have to do things. And in public life you’re in public life. So if you’re afraid of being in trouble, don’t get in that business.”
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With plans to hike taxes for the wealthy, end airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, and run a deficit until 2019, prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau —; who once won a boxing match against now suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau —; has shown he’s willing to make moves not everyone will like.
“It’s like playing hockey, you know, you can hit back. And that’s the fun of it,” said Chretien.
Chretien has been known to “hit back” himself: while prime minister he once grabbed a protester by the neck at an event commemorating the first National Flag of Canada Day in Hull, Que., a move later called his “Shawinigan handshake.”
In an interview with Global News two days after the Liberal Party bulldozed the 42nd federal election, Chretien said Trudeau has proven he is, in fact, ready.
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“Nothing is out of reach,” Chretien said.
He thinks Trudeau built a campaign Canadians could get behind, and won over provinces and civic leaders with promises of infrastructure investment —; even at the cost of running a deficit.
“The economy need the stimulus, and people accepted that. And premiers, all the mayors are very happy because we have a big deficit in infrastructure and he will remedy that.”
Chretien is confident Trudeau will be welcomed by world leaders at next month’s U.N. climate summit in Paris, considering his vocal desire to improve Canada’s record on the environmental file.
“Just the fact that his approach to the environment and to climate change is much better than the previous government, so everyone will welcome him.”
Chretien was a fixture on the campaign trail: he says he visited six provinces and “many, many ridings” in support of Trudeau and Liberal candidates.
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“There was a lot of young people,” Chretien said, noting tech-savvy supporters and their abundance of selfies. “It is a different time.”
Chretien said Trudeau is very comfortable connecting with people, and made a “good move” by going to a Montreal Metro station to shake hands the day after the election.
“People love to see their prime minister,” said Chretien. “The people appreciate that.”
WATCH ABOVE: Canada’s prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau gets out among the people at a metro station in Montreal as he shook hands and took selfies with morning commuters.