Statement on the Passing of Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney


(Ed: Today, March 1, Premier Tim Houston made a statement in the legislature about the death of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney)

Madame Speaker, It is with profound sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to our 18th Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney.

In his February 1993 resignation address, Prime Minister Mulroney said: “I’ve done the very best for my country and my party.”

And there is no doubt that those words are true. You only have to listen to the tributes that poured in last night – from people of all political stripes.

Prime Minister Mulroney was a bold leader and a courageous statesman who tackled the difficult issues of the day with dogged determination.

With Brian Mulroney as leader, the Progressive Conservative Party swept to victory with 211 seats – the biggest majority in Canadian history. Then he rolled up his sleeves and got to work.

He once said: “You have to spend your political capital on great things for your country,” and that is exactly what he did.

In 1988, Prime Minister Mulroney signed the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, ending 100 years of tariff protection.

President George H.W. Bush and Prime Minister Mulroney co-authored a clean air plan to fight acid rain and save many forests and lakes from the leading environmental threat of the day. He was recognized as the greenest Prime Minister in Canadian history.

In 1985, Prime Minister Mulroney led commonwealth countries in the fight against apartheid in South Africa. Driven by his personal convictions of justice and an unwavering respect for human rights, Prime Minister Mulroney launched a relentless anti-apartheid campaign – telling his allies Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan that they would be on the wrong side of history if they did not join him.

The Prime Minister was so influential in dismantlingapartheid that just 127 days after leaving prison, Nelson Mandela traveled to Canada to thank Prime Minister Mulroney in the House of Commons.

Madame Speaker, Brian Mulroney had deep roots right here in Nova Scotia. On September 12, 1983, Mr. Mulroney entered the House of Commons after winning a byelection in Central Nova the month before.

And of course, he always looked fondly on his years as a student at St. Francis Xavier University. He was proud of the Mulroney School of Government. I am thankful that generations of students will know the impact he had on our country and on the world because of the school.

He was a true gentleman, who came from a different era of politicians. One we could all learn from when it comes to decorum.

On a personal note, I will be forever grateful for the generous counsel and advice that Prime Minister Mulroney has offered me, especially in the last two years. He was never too busy to take a call or to listen to a problem or to provide guidance.

I feel very fortunate to have had that time with him and I am very sad that he is gone.

Today, I send my most sincere condolences to Mrs. Mulroney, Ben, Caroline, Mark, and Nicholas. And to the many lives that Brian Mulroney touched in his almost 85 years.

Thank you, Madame Speaker.

Via Province

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