The master tells us much about the student. Chrétien’s mentor, Mitchell Sharp, was a bureaucrat-turned-politician when he saw promise in a brash young Quebec MP in 1965. As finance minister in Lester Pearson’s cabinet, Sharp took Chrétien in hand and taught him the Ottawa ropes-as understood by the quintessential career public servant. Three decades later, when Chrétien became prime minister, Sharp, at 82, joined his team as a dollar-a-year in-house sage. The key lesson: Chrétien valued Ottawa experience and lots of it.
IN-The world insider
Maurice Strong is only nine years Martin’s senior, but has played a mentor’s part. Martin joined Montreal’s Power Corp. in 1966 as his assistant. Only a few months later, Strong bailed out to head a new federal foreign aid agency. But Martin stayed on the business track where Strong got him started. And Strong’s jump to the world of international affairs-where he would emerge as one of the UN’s most powerful officials-provided Martin with a lifelong contact at the highest level of global influence. Now, Strong is moving to Ottawa-though what role he’ll play for Martin remains a mystery. One file to watch: Kyoto. Strong is a leading advocate of the climate change treaty, while Martin has remained vague about how he would achieve Canada’s commitment to greenhouse-gas reduction.
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