Aline Chretien, wife and trusted adviser of former PM, dead at 84

Aline and Jean Chretien (CTV News)

Aline Chretien, the wife and trusted adviser of former prime minister Jean Chretien, has died at 84.

A spokesman for the Chretien family says she died at her home in Shawinigan, Que., on Saturday morning surrounded by family. A cause of death was not specified.

Bruce Hartley says only a private ceremony is being planned for now because of restrictions associated with COVID-19, with a public memorial planned for sometime in the future.

Aline Chretien grew up in a blue-collar family, just a few blocks away from her future husband in the Quebec pulp-and-paper town of Shawinigan, where they met during a chance encounter on a bus.

While she rarely spoke publicly, Aline Chretien was a constant presence at Jean Chretien's side and a major influence on him during his four-decade political career.

The couple had just marked their 63rd wedding anniversary on Thursday.

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