The Passing of Brian Mulroney (1939-2024)

 

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has passed away.

Mr Mulroney was Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993. His leadership brought a greatly improved relationship with the United States. A personal friendship with President Ronald Reagan was a great assistance to him attain the Free Trade Agreement. It ended with the Goods and Services Tax, which, until the current carbon tax, was the least popular tax ever to be imposed on an unwilling population.

From Brian Mulroney’s Eulogy of President Ronald Reagan:

Ronald Reagan was a president who inspired his nation and transformed the world. He possessed a rare and prized gift called leadership – that ineffable and sometimes magical quality that sets some men and women apart so that millions will follow them as they conjure up grand visions and invite their countrymen to dream big and exciting dreams.

I always thought that President Reagan’s understanding of the nobility of the presidency coincided with the American dream.

And further:

I have been truly blessed to have had a friend like Ronald Reagan. I am grateful that our paths crossed and that our lives touched. I shall always remember him with deepest admiration and affection and I shall always feel honored by the journey we traveled together in search of better and more peaceful tomorrows for all God’s children, everywhere.

And so, in the presence of his beloved and indispensable Nancy, his children, family, friends and the American people he so deeply revered, I say “au revoir’ today to a gifted leader, historic president and gracious human being. And I do so with a line from Yeats, who wrote:

“Think where man’s glory most begins and ends and say – my glory was that I had such friends.”

While I spent a lot of years strongly disliking Brian Mulroney, I have to admit that the country and the world are better places for his leadership.

Published in General
Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

There are 16 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    I remember the “Shamrock Summits” of Mulroney and Reagan (both had Irish ancestry.)

    • #1
  2. Hank Rhody calls me Perry Coolidge
    Hank Rhody calls me Perry
    @ltpwfdcm

    I remember my parents going over to a neighbors house in 1987 for a meeting as part of the early organizing for the Reform Party in response (partly) to some of Mulroney’s political decisions and I definitely recall the furor over the Free-Trade Agreement and the awful imposition of the GST, but in retrospect his leadership was definitely an improvement over the Trudeau Liberal years. His upside was that he was a Conservative and came through on privatizing a lot of Crown Corporations. His Quebecker-background ended up being his political undoing, especially with the Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords and screwing over Manitoba with moving the CF-18 servicing contract in favor of Bombardier in Quebec essentially ended the viability of the PC Party as it was then constructed. 

    In retrospect; I, too, have to echo @occupantcdn and say that Canada is a much better place having had him as Prime Minister. RIP Brian…

    • #2
  3. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    I remember the “Shamrock Summits” of Mulroney and Reagan (both had Irish ancestry.)

    Yes, it was his friendship with Reagan that went a long way to rehabilitate his reputation with me. I didnt think it was more than a political convenience back in the 80s, it just seemed to be a performance for the news cameras.  It wasnt until Reagan’s funeral, and Brian Mulroney was giving a Eulogy that I realized it was real.

    • #3
  4. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Met him briefly, just a shake of the hand, in ’94. A friendly and open impression, you honestly couldn’t imagine him a PM, and then he spoke and you could.

    • #4
  5. MiMac Thatcher
    MiMac
    @MiMac

    More conservative Canadians were disappointed by the short term of Joe Clark- he was a several month break from Trudeau -the old SNL joke was that he was voted out b/c his wife wouldn’t sleep with members of parliament like Trudeau’s would. Luckily for Canada Mulroney emerged to end the slide orchestrated by Trudeau-unfortunately for Canada the nut didn’t fall far from the tree.

    • #5
  6. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    MiMac (View Comment):

    More conservative Canadians were disappointed by the short term of Joe Clark- he was a several month break from Trudeau -the old SNL joke was that he was voted out b/c his wife wouldn’t sleep with members of parliament like Trudeau’s would. Luckily for Canada Mulroney emerged to end the slide orchestrated by Trudeau-unfortunately for Canada the nut didn’t fall far from the tree.

    I liked Joe Clarke – Ive met him on the street a few times, when I lived downtown his office was a few blocks from my apartment. He’s kinda like Canada’s Jimmy Carter. The unlikely politician from Rural Alberta who almost by accident ended up in the big chair. A boy scout, the earnest adorable loser… Maybe if Jim Varney was still alive, there could be an “Earnest goes to Parliament” sit com.  That sounds a bit harsh after I claimed to like him, maybe it is.

    • #6
  7. randallg Member
    randallg
    @randallg

    The hated GST was a good idea at the time. It replaced the hidden “Manufacturers Sales Tax” which was only applied to goods made in Canada, rendering them uncompetitive. You’ll notice that the Liberals won the election where they pledged to get rid of it, and here it is 30+ years later.

    • #7
  8. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey
    @GaryMcVey

    The Meech Lake era is a puzzle to Americans. For decades, we read about Quebec separatism, even Quebequois terrorism, and then in the Eighties, suddenly (to our eyes) an informal get-together produces a surprising solution…which seems to be a dead letter almost immediately. But the country remains at peace, so I guess all’s good. 

     

    • #8
  9. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    The Meech Lake era is a puzzle to Americans. For decades, we read about Quebec separatism, even Quebequois terrorism, and then in the Eighties, suddenly (to our eyes) an informal get-together produces a surprising solution…which seems to be a dead letter almost immediately. But the country remains at peace, so I guess all’s good.

     

    Even to most Canadians. We recognize Quebec Separatism as an empty threat. There seemed to be so many other pressing issues, far more important, getting ignored for it.

    I want the next referendum on Quebec independence to be National. I think it would pass everywhere but Quebec.

    • #9
  10. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    The Meech Lake era is a puzzle to Americans. For decades, we read about Quebec separatism, even Quebequois terrorism, and then in the Eighties, suddenly (to our eyes) an informal get-together produces a surprising solution…which seems to be a dead letter almost immediately. But the country remains at peace, so I guess all’s good.

     

    Even to most Canadians. We recognize Quebec Separatism as an empty threat. There seemed to be so many other pressing issues, far more important, getting ignored for it.

    I want the next referendum on Quebec independence to be National. I think it would pass everywhere but Quebec.

    LOL 

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):
    I want the next referendum on Quebec independence to be National. I think it would pass everywhere but Quebec.

    • #11
  12. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    The referendum is about the fate of Canada, not just Quebec. But Quebec doesnt give Canada a voice in that decision?

    • #12
  13. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    The referendum is about the fate of Canada, not just Quebec. But Quebec doesnt give Canada a voice in that decision?

    I understand. It’s just that the notion that the Québécois could announce with great fanfare that the result of their referendum was to remain in Canada only to have the rest of the provinces pipe up with “Not so fast, François.”

    I’ll be quiet now.

    • #13
  14. OccupantCDN Coolidge
    OccupantCDN
    @OccupantCDN

    Percival (View Comment):

    OccupantCDN (View Comment):

    The referendum is about the fate of Canada, not just Quebec. But Quebec doesnt give Canada a voice in that decision?

    I understand. It’s just that the notion that the Québécois could announce with great fanfare that the result of their referendum was to remain in Canada only to have the rest of the provinces pipe up with “Not so fast, François.”

    I’ll be quiet now.

    We can all dream.

    If they ever have a successful referendum, I wonder when would the next one be?

    I mean they’ve had 2 so far… If they ever get the “Yes” when’s the next one…

    • #14
  15. ToryWarWriter Coolidge
    ToryWarWriter
    @ToryWarWriter

    A friend of mine told me about a reception a year ago where we would be guest of Honor.  We went and I sat not 6 feet from him at dinner.

    He did a fascinating q and a at the end.  Wish it was recorded, his tale of how he decided to help free Nelson Mandela and end apartheid.  

    Also said it was worth it to get rid of that hidden manufacturers tax.

    • #15
  16. Chris O Coolidge
    Chris O
    @ChrisO

    Eh, sorry, guess it was November of ’93. Nice anecdote at the start here. I’d love to see the whole speech again. This, unbelievably, was less than a month after he left office.

    • #16
Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.