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Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney dies at 84

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Ottawa | March 1, 2024 7:54:47 AM IST
Former Canadian Prime Minister and stalwart Conservative figure Brian Mulroney passed away at the age of 84, as announced by his family, Canada-based CTV News reported.

The former Tory leader, known for his impactful yet a controversial personality, left an indelible mark on Canada.

Born into a working-class family in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Mulroney began his political journey as a university student studying political science. His early involvement in Conservative politics included serving as an adviser to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Despite facing defeat in his initial bid to become the federal Progressive Conservative leader in 1976, losing to Joe Clark, Mulroney persevered, as reported by CTV News.

Temporarily shifting to corporate Canada as a senior executive, Mulroney continued his political aspirations and ultimately secured the Progressive Conservative Party leadership in 1983. In his victory speech, he declared, "Together we're going to build a brand new party and a brand new country."

Subsequently elected as the MP for Central Nova, NS, Mulroney pledged to advocate for increased job opportunities in the region.

His triumph in the 1984 federal campaign, marked by a historic majority win, solidified Mulroney's position as Canada's 18th prime minister. During the campaign, Mulroney delivered a memorable line in response to then-Liberal Prime Minister John Turner's handling of controversial patronage appointments, saying, "You had an option, sir."

Mulroney's nine-year prime ministership was characterised by both strength and division. Notably, he undertook significant efforts to bring Quebec into the constitutional fold through initiatives like Meech Lake and the Charlottetown Accord, though both ultimately failed, according to CTV News.

On the global stage, Mulroney enhanced Canada's international standing. He actively opposed apartheid, rallying countries against it and imposing sanctions on South Africa.

Reflecting on Mulroney's legacy, Derek Burney, former diplomat and Mulroney's chief of staff, remarked, "Mr Mulroney took some very tough decisions which only in retrospect people are appreciating," CTV News reported. (ANI)

 
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