Little Guy from Shawinigan

The nickname of Jean Chrétien. It captures Chrétien’s scrappy populism and his carefully nurtured image as someone with blue collar roots in a paper mill town in Quebec. The moniker was more often than not invoked by Chrétien himself – most colourfully in the context of the “Shawinigan Handshake”.1

It is interesting to note that two of the most successful Prime Ministers of the late 20th century both promoted their small town Quebec roots. Brian Mulroney in Baie Comeau and Jean Chrétien in Shawinigan.

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons


  1. 1996: Chrétien extends a 'Shawinigan handshake'. CBC Digital Archives.

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