Chretien says Trudeau is ‘prime minister for all Canadians’ in face of western alienation

WATCH: Chretien defends Trudeau's record in petrol-producing provinces: 'the prime minister for all Canadians'

Former prime minister Jean Chretien is advising Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to remember that he is “prime minister for all Canadians” in the face of western Canadian alienation.

Chretien made an appearance at Parliament Hill Thursday as Trudeau’s new cabinet met for the first time.

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Chretien said that western alienation is a “problem that has existed for a long time,” but noted that Canada has “survived” in the past when faced with it.

‘They are members of parliament’: Chrétien weighs in on working with Bloc Québécois
‘They are members of parliament’: Chrétien weighs in on working with Bloc Québécois

He noted that no matter who voted for whom, in the end the prime minister is there to serve all Canadians.

“When you’re prime minister, you’re not prime minister for one party, you’re prime minister for all Canadians,” he said.

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“I’m sure every prime minister will understand that.”

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Still, Chretien did admit that it is difficult to explain to eastern Canadians why Trudeau bought the Trans Mountain pipeline when its original owner did not want to keep it.

READ MORE: Jean Chretien says rise of Donald Trump heralds end of the American empire

“[Trudeau] did that to try to sell oil from Alberta,” he said is his explanation.

When asked whether the Liberals should be working with separatist party the Bloc Quebecois, Chretien said that “they are a member of parliament,” so “you find a solution.”

“We had it in [1963], ’65 and ’72, and we survived,” he said.