April 25th, 2024

What Canadians are saying about the death of former prime minister Brian Mulroney

By Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press on February 29, 2024.

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney arrives to speak at a conference in Ottawa on March 5, 2019. Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is dead at 84. His family announced late Thursday that the former Tory leader died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

OTTAWA – Brian Mulroney is dead at 84. His family announced late Thursday that Canada’s 18th prime minister died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. Here’s a sampling of how Canadians are responding to the news.

“Brian Mulroney loved Canada. I’m devastated to learn of his passing. He never stopped working for Canadians, and he always sought to make this country an even better place to call home. I’ll never forget the insights he shared with me over the years ““ he was generous, tireless, and incredibly passionate.” – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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“He unleashed free enterprise, crushed inflation, restored fiscal sanity and concluded one of the greatest free trade agreements the world has ever seen, which remains largely in place today. These changes gave thousands of working-class families the same opportunities he had, that is, the chance to work hard, buy a home and build their dreams.” – Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre.

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“He was among the first and most strident to fight against South Africa’s apartheid policy and champion the cause of Nelson Mandela. He later went on to thank Mr. Mulroney for his essential role in ending this racist policy.” – Poilievre.

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“The man had a way with words like no one else. It didn’t matter if it was a private conversation or a speech to thousands, Brian had an ability to capture a crowd and keep them captivated with his endless supply of stories. Anyone who heard him speak walked away in awe.” – Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

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“He made an important contribution to Canada, including protecting our environment – leading the world in tackling acid rain and banning chemicals that were destroying the ozone layer. He was also a strong opponent of apartheid, leading the efforts to sanction South Africa by Commonwealth nations.” – Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.

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“Mr. Mulroney was one of the greatest prime ministers in Canadian history. He was an exceptional leader. A visionary. And a statesman whose influence had a significant impact on the international stage. I remember him as generous, passionate, and deeply attached to Canada. Our country owes Prime Minister Mulroney a profound debt of gratitude.” – Former Quebec premier and Mulroney-era cabinet minister Jean Charest.

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“In December 2023 I was going through a pretty stressful time and Brian Mulroney took the time to call me and encourage me. That was the kind of man he was. He cared about people. A true gentleman.” – Montreal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 29, 2024.

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