OTTAWA -- France Chretien, daughter of Justice Minister Jean Chretien, became Mrs. Andre Desmarais Saturday in a fairy-tale wedding ceremony which brought together some of government's and business' most powerful representatives.
Mrs. Demarais, Chretien's only daughter, arrived at the Notre Dame Basillica at 5 p.m. sharp Saturday after about 350 invited guests -- looking like a chapter from the Who's Who in Canada -- had arrived at the church.
While police blocked traffic, Chretien's shiny, black, vintage Rolls Royce limousine rolled up to the church steps and the chauffeur ushered father and daughter up to the red-carpeted and canopied steps leading to the church -- the oldest in Ottawa.
The bride, wearing a white lace and silk gown and a nine-foot trail, smiled as a nervous father, dressed in morning suit, paused while news photographers and the hired movie photographer recorded the event.
Asked if he had bought new shoes for wedding, Chretien replied: 'The last time I bought new shoes was before I introduced my budget in 1978. Since then I've been practicing restraint at my house.'
Before the bride arrived, the groom's father, Paul Desmarais II, chairman of the board of Power Corp., shook hands and bussed cheeks with many of the guests as they arrived at the church.
Andre Demarais is Chretien's press secretary.
Among the guests were Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and most of the federal cabinet.
Trudeau caused a stir only five minutes before the wedding when, presumably upon learning of the death of former NDP leader David Lewis, he dashed out of the church and down the steps past the queueing guests and jumped into his limousine with his Security Service detail hot in pursuit.
He arrived back at the church in time for the ceremony however, after quick-changing into his tuxedo. Trudeau had arrived at the church wearing a dark blue wool suit and an aide said he had not been told it was a black tie ceremony.
Among some of the other guests House and Senate Speakers Jeanne Sauve and Jean Marchand, former Newfoundland Premier Frank Moores, former U.S. Amassador Thomas Enders, Seagram's Charles Bronfman and Brian Mulroney, a Quebec business executive and well known Conservative Party member.
Some of the other guests included opera singer Maureen Forrester, former finance minister Donald Macdonald, NHL Players' Association president Allan Eagleson, and Clerk of the Privy Council Michael Pitfield.
Following the hour-long wedding mass, the guests, escorted by Ottawa and RCM Police converged on the West Block of the Parliament Buildings for the reception.