Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{July 6, 2008}   P.M.# 18. Something about rats and sinking ships

After last week’s Canada Day break, we return today with installment #18 of my Prime Ministerial series:

Milabrianmulroney.jpg Name Martin Brian Mulroney
Born: March 20, 1939 in Baie-Comeau, Quebec
Died: not
Party: Progressive Conservative
Held Office: September 17, 1984 – June 25, 1993
Best known for: -winning the largest majority government in Canadian history in September 1984, with 211 seats

-despite this vast majority, he had to juggle a number of different types of conservatives: social conversatives from the west, nationalists from Quebec, and fiscal conservatives from Ontario & the Atlantic provinces. As well, he had to contend with a Liberal controlled Senate and his own desire to cut the spending, which hampered his ability to deliver on promises he had made.

-he really, really wanted to have Quebec included in a national agreement, as they were the only province not to sign on to the Canadian constitution negoitated by Trudeau; Mulroney negoitated the Meech Lake Accord (constitutional amendments to let Quebec get the recongition as a “distinct society” that they wanted) with the premiers, but Manitoba and Newfoundland did not ratify it; his second attempt was the Charlottetown Accord, which also did not go through, as it was defeated in a referendum in 1992

-he sold off 23 of Canada’s 61 crown corporations

-after the Air India bombing in 1985, Mulroney sent his condolences to the Prime Minister of India, which was pretty stupid considering that the majority of passengers on the flight were Canadian. Many people felt that this showed that Mulroney did not consider Indo-Canadians to be “real” Canadians. In addition, warnings from the Indian government to Mulroney’s government about terrorist threats to Air India flights and there are questions as to why these warnings were not taken more seriously.

-signed the Free Trade Agreement with the US in 1988

-introducing the Goods & Services Tax (G.S.T.) in 1991

-a worldwide recession, coupled with an attempt by the Bank of Canada (and sanctioned by Mulroney) to create zero inflation, did disasterous things to the Canadian economy; this, along with the public hating the G.S.T., the failure of the Meech Lake & Charlottetown Accords, leading to a serious downturn in support for Mulroney; Mulroney stepped down in advance of the 1993 – references were made to rats and sinking ships

-during the 1993 election, the PCs in the west broke off as the Reform Party

-the Schreiber affair

Some Things I Didn’t Know About This P.M. -he is yet another P.M. that goes by his second name.

-after falling ill, he flunked out of Dalhousie Law School in his first year; he went to Université Laval the next year.

-he failed the bar exam twice; after passing on his third try, he worked as a labour lawyer

-after losing the 1976 Progressive Conservative party leadership race, he battled depression and alcoholism; he credits his wife Mila with helping him to recover and he quit drinking in 1979

-in 1991 a magainze ran a “satirical” ad for contest to “deflower Caroline Mulroney” (Brian’s daughter)… The magazine claims it was a comment on Mulroney’s tendency to “use his daughter as a prop.” All I can say is: WTF?

-he used an “emergency clause” in the Constitution which allowed him to ask the Queen to let him appoint 8 new Senators in an “emergency” situation; many people were not happy with this interpretation of “emergency”


If you are just dying to read more about M.B.M, check these out:

Mulroney DF-SC-85-12406.jpg

Image credits: Photo of Mila & Brian greeting Pierre Trudeau is a photo in the public domain, from the Library and Archives Canada (PA-152416). The photo of Mila & Brian Mulroney at Andrew’s Air Force base in Maryland, USA is in the public domain, credit: US Department of Defenese.

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That satirical magazine was known as Frank. They were relentless on the Mulroneys, but with so much great material to work on, who can blame them? My favourite front page about Mila: Got up Late, Went Shopping.



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