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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Brian Mulroney, former Canadian prime minister, died at 84

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The news of the passing of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney at the age of 84 has reverberated across Canada. Mulroney, remembered as one of the country’s most consequential leaders, died peacefully surrounded by family. Born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Mulroney’s political journey began as an advisor to Conservative Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. Despite initial setbacks, including a failed bid for the federal Progressive Conservative leadership, Mulroney eventually ascended to become Canada’s 18th Prime Minister in 1983.

During his tenure, Mulroney navigated the country through significant domestic and international challenges. Notably, he played a pivotal role in negotiating the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and later expanded it to include Mexico, forming the basis of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, his introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and his attempts to address Quebec’s constitutional status were met with controversy and mixed reactions.

Beyond his political accomplishments, Mulroney was recognized for his international advocacy against apartheid in South Africa and his efforts to strengthen Canada’s ties with global leaders. However, his legacy was also marked by controversy, including allegations of impropriety surrounding the Airbus affair, though he was later cleared of any wrongdoing.

In recent years, Mulroney remained active in public life, offering insights on current political issues and advocating for Canada’s global presence. His passing has elicited tributes from across the political spectrum, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing devastation at the loss and Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre praising Mulroney as one of Canada’s greatest statesmen.

Brian Mulroney’s death marks the end of an era in Canadian politics, leaving behind a complex and enduring legacy that continues to shape the nation’s political landscape.

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