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Dion Adopted Daughter

December 17, 2006 permalink

Here is yet another case of a person at the upper levels of political power with an adoptive child. This time it is the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Stéphane Dion.



Portrait of Stéphane Dion's family according to the women in his life

Stéphane Dion, wife Janine Krieber and adopted daughter Jeanne
Stéphane Dion with his wife Janine Krieber and their daughter Jeanne. (Photo: Courtesy)

Beyond the well-known public personality of Stéphane Dion is also a husband and a father as only those who are near him really know. In an interview with his wife and daughter, the true nature of this man is brought to the spotlight.

A native of Alma, Janine Krieber met Stéphane Dion during their studies. "He arrived in a rather ordinary way, at a student party at Laval University in 1978," said Krieber, noting that since then they have been together and sealed their union in 1987.

Krieber reminisces that Dion, who enjoys walking, would meet her at her parents place after a run in his jogging clothes. However, he took care to bring in his knapsack suitable clothing to go out with.

With time, she learned about his preferences. "He adores nature, the forest and dining with friends," she said. "He also reads a lot, likes fishing and cross country skiing. He plays tennis and racquetball especially when he was a professor. Now, he partakes in physical exercise in the gym."

Jeanne's arrival

Among their plans, the couple wanted to have a child. Janine and her husband went to Peru in 1988 to adopt a girl, Jeanne. "The steps of international adoption are extremely complicated since they are twinned with the process of immigration and it lasted one year," she noted. "Stéphane spent three months over there during this period. The experience was very emotional."

Jeanne, 18, finished her collegial studies last June, with a diploma in social sciences at CEGEP Bois-de-Boulogne. She then worked on her father's campaign for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada. "I took time to reflect following my studies, while helping my father during the campaign," she said, noting that "the joy of victory has passed."

Lives Transformed

The election of Stéphane Dion as leader of his political party has affected the daily life of the family. Jeanne considers that this new position has more impact for her father.

"I try to not to make too big of it as if it were a new job," she said noting that she does not often see her father. "We succeeded in developing a friendly relationship. We avoid quibbling so as not to waste the time we spend together. Moreover, he has a unique sense of humour, since he tells silly jokes, even in the presence of my friends."

Teaching at the Royal Military College of Canada Fort St-Jean Campus, Krieber took one semester of leave, in order to reorganize her family life. Kreiber and her daughter are not insensitive to criticisms of which Stéphane Dion is sometimes victim, but they feel that in general, people are nice.

"I am accustomed to and I respect the opinion of the others," she said. "I have good humour, in particular for the caricatures, because they are sometimes funny and make me laugh."

The two women in the life of Stéphane Dion agree on the fact that the voters of Saint-Laurent-Cartierville gave Dion their confidence in the last election, despite the scandal which surrounded the party. "People of the county vote now for him more than for the party," said Jeanne.

Patricia Bittar, who worked at the district office of Dion from 2000 to 2004, spoke about the unity of the Dion family. "I observed all the love and the affection that Mr. Dion holds with his wife and his daughter," she said. "He is a family man, who appreciates their support because he could never do what he is doing without it, nor to go where he has."

(Translated by Michael Beigleman)

"I met Stéphane at a student party at the university." — Janine Krieber, wife of Stéphane Dion.

"My father has a unique sense of humour. He makes silly jokes." — Jeanne Krieber-Dion, daughter of Stéphane Dion

Stéphane Dion, wife Janine Krieber and adopted daughter Jeanne
Stéphane Dion with his wife Janine Krieber and their daughter Jeanne. (Photo: Courtesy)
Stéphane Dion and daughter Jeanne
Stéphane Dion lived three months in Peru to adopt his daughter Jeanne, who he carried around along with his famous back bag. (Photo: Courtesy)

Source: Courrier Bordeaux/Cartierville