Canada

Ducros quits as Chrtien's communications director

Jean Chrtien accepts the resignation of his communications director, Franoise Ducros after 'moron' remark.

Franoise Ducros has resigned as Prime Minister Jean Chrtien's communications director. Ducros referred to U.S. President George Bush as "a moron" in Prague last week.

Reports say she made the remark to a radio reporter. Ducros had offered her resignation to the prime minister last week, but he refused to accept it.

Reports say Ducros, 40, decided over the weekend to resubmit her offer to resign. This time the prime minister accepted it. Despite Ducros's resignation, Chrtien said in question period Tuesday the incident does not merit an apology to Bush.

"To avoid continuing controversy, Franoise Ducros has decided to leave her position as director of communications in the Prime Minister's Office and accelerate by some weeks her planned return to the public service from which she had been seconded," Percy Downe, chief of staff, said in a statement Tuesday.

Her replacement is expected to be former TV journalist Jim Munson, who works in the prime minister's press office as a senior communications adviser. Munson is expected to serve as an interim replacement for Ducros. Munson worked as a television journalist at CTV for 23 years before he was dropped in a series of layoffs in 2001.

Ducros grew up in the Montreal suburb of Beaconsfield. Her father, Jacques Ducros, was a Crown attorney, then a judge involved in FLQ trials.

Ducros has been the prime minister's director of communications since 1999.

"I'm never going to be the most loved, so maybe I should be the most hated director of communications that ever lived," she has said of her job with Chrtien.

   
                                         

  • Ducros's resignation letter:

    Prime Minister: I have reflected over the weekend on the controversy over remarks made in Prague. It is very apparent to me that the controversy will make it impossible for me to do my job. I would therefore like to leave my position as director of communications immediately. I will seek to re-enter the public service. I am grateful for the support you have given me during this difficult time. I cannot express what a great honour it has been to serve you and your government.

  • Prime Minister's response:

    Dear Franoise, I have read your letter of today and your decision to leave your position as director of communications and re-integrate into the public service a few weeks earlier than anticipated. As you take your leave, you can be proud of the fact not only that you have filled one of the most senior positions ever held by a woman in a Prime Minister's Office, but above all, of the exemplary manner in which you have carried out your duties. In your almost four years as director of communications you have served the government as a whole, and me personally, with extraordinary skill and dedication. I have always placed the highest value on your advice and counsel. And I am, indeed, pleased that as a public servant you will continue to bring these fine qualities to the service of Canada and Canadians. Aline joins me in wishing you and Ian continued success and happiness in the future.

    now