Listening to Brian Mulroney: trade, tactics, environment, and more -

Listening to Brian Mulroney: trade, tactics, environment, and more

John Geddes on the charismatic leader’s 2012 road show


Peter Bregg

In this week’s Maclean’s I write about Brian Mulroney’s surprising return to prominence in Canadian public life. The story was mostly prompted by a spate of major speeches the former prime minister, now 73, delivered last year. Mulroney’s 2012 road show seemed remarkably unhampered by the controversy that plagued him in office and dogged him long into retirement from active politics.

The larger-than-life performance style he brings to these events is something to behold—and he can barely contain his disdain for the timid, tentative speechmaking of the generation of Canadian politicians who came after him. But Mulroney also delivers content. So much, in fact, that I had space to barely touch on much of it in the story.

For a flavour of the subjects Mulroney tackles, and how he comes at them, here are four excerpts from key speeches.

Ottawa, March 13, 2012: In a speech at the headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Mulroney gave a tutorial on tactics to mark the 21st anniversary of the landmark Canada-U.S. acid rain treaty:

And the question is, how was it done?

Well, we simply wouldn’t let go of it. We got in the Americans’ face about it at every bilateral meeting until they realized we were serious about it, that we meant it, and that we wouldn’t go away until we had dealt with it to our satisfaction…

But while we were talking to the Americans, we were taking action with the provinces and industry, implementing a “Clean Hands Policy” of leading from the front.

First, in February 1985… we got an agreement with the seven provinces east of Saskatchewan to reduce sulphur dioxide emissions by 50 percent, by 2.3 million tonnes from the base year levels of 1980 by 1994. We did this within only six months of taking office.

Then we told industry they had to clean up their act. For example, the INCO smelter at Sudbury was the biggest producer of SO2 emissions in Canada. When we told them they had to cut emissions by half, they told us they’d go out of business. But we held the line and guess what, they commercialized the sulphur and their profits went up instead!

There were two reasons for adopting a Clean Hands approach. First, it was the right thing to do. And second, it provided strong empirical evidence against the argument in Washington that the only reason we wanted an acid rain clean up was so that Canada could sell the US more clean hydro-electricity.

Ottawa, June 6, 2012: In a speech to the research-based pharmaceuticals industry, Mulroney talked about his own landmark drug-patent reforms, but also chided the current government on not doing enough for innovators, and linked that theme to expanding free trade:

Other countries have moved ahead of Canada offering better intellectual property protection for investors and manufacturers.  If we cannot compete effectively, we will inevitably fall behind.

It is not a static, global environment and the competition for more than $100 billion in annual R&D investments in pharmaceuticals is fierce.  And make no mistake, strong intellectual property protection works well for both innovation and generic drug manufacturers.

Canada may not yet top the charts when it comes to global standards for intellectual property but, with the pending copyright reforms and the flurry of trade negotiations now underway, we are definitely moving in the right direction.

The first crucial test will be the negotiations with the EU, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA, which we are told will spur annual economic growth of some $12B in Canada. 

Toronto, Oct. 3, 2012: In a speech marking the anniversary of the finalization of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement negotiations, he returned to the theme of making deals with Washington, stressing how to leverage top-level relationships:

 The powerful Treasury Secretary Jim Baker had been designated by the President to bring the negotiation to a successful conclusion. He was determined to deliver for his President and proved to be the right man at the right time…

At about 9:30 p.m. (on Oct. 3, 1987), Baker called me in my Langevin Block office in Ottawa to tell me that , while we were very close to an agreement, he doubted that he could get the dispute settlement mechanism because congressional leaders argued it would dilute their constitutional sovereignty in matters of international trade.

I thanked Baker and told him that, as the talks were now in danger of imminent collapse and failure, I was going to call President Reagan, then at Camp David, to ask him one question.

“And, what is that?” asked Baker.

“Well, Jim, I replied, “I’m going to ask the President how it is that the U.S. can negotiate a major nuclear reduction treaty with its worst enemy, the Soviet Union and can’t negotiate a free trade agreement with its best friend, Canada”.

“P.M.,” Baker replied, “can you give me 20 minutes?”

At about 10:00 pm that evening, Secretary Baker burst into the anteroom to his Treasury Office in Washington which was being used by the senior Canadian delegation. He flung a hand-written note on the table and declared “All right, you can have your goddamned dispute settlement mechanism. Now can we send the report to Congress!”

Calgary, Oct. 23, 2012:  At a dinner held by St. Francis Xavier University, his Nova Scotia alma mater, Mulroney waded into a favourite Stephen Harper theme—the need to diversify energy exports—but made more headlines by arguing that his 1984-1993 government was a staunch friend of western Canada:

We all know, however, that trade with the U.S. has more or less flatlined in recent years in the wake of the financial meltdown and the prolonged slump of the U.S. economy.

 We also know that the veto of the Keystone pipeline was an unwelcome decision for all in the energy sector and ran contrary to the spirit of our FTA. Equally, because it is going to a single (captive) market, our oil sells at a substantial discount to world prices.

That is why it is vital that Canada diversify some exports of energy, minerals and agri-food products, especially to those emerging markets that are growing at twice the rate of our more traditional markets. For that we need new infrastructure in Canada — pipelines and ports in particular — to broaden our market reach and complement our reliance on the U.S.

As important as the FTA was, it was part of a suite of policy prescriptions designed to bring the West into the Canadian mainstream. Twenty years ago, you often heard some people say: “The West wants in.”

The chant became part of the mythology of Canadian politics in which, like all myths, the truth became the first and most important victim.

And why?

Because, in fact, the West was already in, and had been since the day our government took office on Sept. 17, 1984…



Listening to Brian Mulroney: trade, tactics, environment, and more

  1. Mulroney was one of the best PMs this country has ever had, and I’d vote for him again in an instant.

    • Yes, I particularly like how his political blunders led to the creation of the Reform and Bloc parties, and caused the decimation of the Progressive Conservative party. Now, after the Reformers swallowed up the PCs, Canada is saddled with a Conservative party controlled by fanatics that is poised to win easy fake majorities (like the Liberals under Chretien) and destroy everything built up in the post-war era.

      Well done! Let’s give him a big round of applause! (He certainly believes he deserves it…)

      • Tsk, such partisan bitterness.

        I was talking about the good he did for Canada, not the blunders of others.

        • I’m not the blind partisan here…

          What good did he do for Canada?

          • LOL I am aware that as a Dipper you aren’t fond of free trade etc, but it did wonders for Canada.

          • I’m not a Dipper. I’m a Keynesian centrist. But what wonders has free-trade actually accomplished?

            The facts are, since entering into the free-trade agreement 25 years ago, GDP growth and living standards have been on a steady decline.

            No doubt, when the Liberals were in power and we had a low dollar exports helped pay down the debt and produced a big budget surplus. But now the shoe is on the other foot. We have an overvalued dollar and good jobs are moving to the American south where they have lax labor laws. $20B current account surpluses have turned to $50B current account deficits (according to the “twin deficits” theory, big budget deficits follow big trade deficits…)

            The argument against free-trade back then was that living standards and public benefits would equalize downwards to US levels. We have certainly seen that happen over the past 25 years.

            I support fair trade, not free trade.

          • Don’t confuse your political party with an economic system. That’s how you come up with meaningless phrases.

          • You are obviously the one confused here. Just because you don’t understand an argument, doesn’t make it meaningless.

            BTW, good job in pointing out all the wonders of free trade!

          • You don’t HAVE an argument.

          • That’s a ridiculous statement, especially coming from someone who is either unwilling or incapable of supporting their own position. Free trade has worked wonders just because you say so? I don’t think so.

          • Why am I supposed to ‘support’ a position against your politics….is this a trial?

            Businesses are aware that free trade has done wonders for Canada….which is why they are keen on a deal with the EU, China, India etc

          • Businessmen like free trade deals because it allows them to circumvent first-world regulations and wages. This allows them to make easy money, but it erodes first-world markets and living standards. In fact, free-trade globalization is one of the primary reasons why the global economy is stuck in a quagmire and government debt has skyrocketed.

            In the post-war Keynesian era, we had phenomenal GDP growth and living standards were on the rise for all segments of society. During this time governments paid down most of their debts.

            Over the past 30-year “age of greed” founded on failed free-market reforms, only the richest segment of society thrived while everyone else’s living standards declined (leading to record levels of personal debt.)

            In a functioning economy, there is an economic tide that raises all boats. The reason free-market ideology failed was because it was entirely self-serving to businessmen at the expense of all others.

          • Mmm evil corporations, evil business, evil globalization, evil greed….yada yada. Yer a Dipper.

          • That interpretation of what I said is certainly dippy… But in any case, during the post-war era, Liberals, Democrats, Progressive Conservatives and Republicans were centrist Keynesians. As Nixon said, “We’re all Keynesians now.”

            So to assume I’m a New Democrat because I support the Keynesian economic system is just plain ignorant.

          • Everything you ever post on here is a paen to Keynes.

            If another poster doesn’t do the same, you spend the rest of your time attacking them

            Yer a Dipper cuz yer dippy.

          • “Paen to Keynes” you say?

            Would that be “back paen” or did Wikipedia simply fail you in a botched reference to Greek mythology?

            Don’t accuse me of following you around Emily. You’re tough to miss; your ugly misinformed excreta is everywhere.

          • That must be annoying. You’ve pretty much got the market cornered on meaninglessnes.

        • One of the best things he did for Canada took place after he left.
          No doubt at all they needed new furniture at 24 Sussex and if it hadn’t been for Malroney they’d still be stuck with the old stuff.

    • I would grant he was the most recent “big dreamer” as opposed to “quiet manager” but he paid a heavy price for that when Canadians disliked the dream.

      • He was never defeated.

        • Semantics E. he did a runner and left Campbell to carry the can. But being Mulroney he also had the chutzpah to blame her for it too. BM was a very good PM but lousy at accepting his share of any blame and great at self promotion. It’s still advisable to parse his statements with a backhoe. Still, better by a country mile than SH.

          • Campbell was the most popular PM in history going into the election

            You bought the bill of goods Reform sold you.

          • Yup and she probably could have made it in spite of Malroney.

            And then everyone found out that when she moved to Ottawa she left a clapped out old Volvo parked on the street in Vancouver. It had $35,000 worth of tickets on it for illegal parking.

          • If you plan to just traipse around after me on here posting silliness like this, I’m not interested. Neither is anyone else. Ciao.

          • You seem to be wrapped up in a jumble of paranoia.

            You were giving us a line of nonsense about Kim Campbell and I thought I should let you know what really happened to her according to the Toronto Star.

            She made a fool of herself in addition to being tied to Malroney, who was a clown act piece of work right up there with Trudeau..

            She shot herself in the foot by leaving a rusty old piece of junk parked permanently on the street in front her house for 3 or 4 years. Who needed that?

          • Yada yada….say hello to your evil twin brother The Sot for me….and then sod off.

          • I told ya Sot….projection doesn’t work on here.

            Now bugger-ye-off

          • I can understand your MMPI trepidation. I don’t think you’d do very well either.
            But you might get through. They used to use this for officer selection in the armed forces. Russ Williams apparently passed it so you might get away with it too.

          • You’re in bad shape Emily, I see you here accusing Ron of “putting you on trial.”.

    • I’ll agree on the first point but not the second.

  2. “Mulroney’s 2012 road show seemed remarkably unhampered by the controversy that plagued him in office and dogged him long into retirement from active politics.”

    It’s interesting to note how conservatives rant on endlessly about AdScam (that involved low-level bureaucrats embezzling government money.) Yet here we have a *prime minister* who took a $300,000 bribe to award a government contract (Airbus scandal.)

    Not only that, he sued the government for $50M when the RCMP investigated allegations of kickbacks. Then he lied under oath which led to a $2.1M settlement.

    Unfortunately, cronyism saved Mulroney from justice during the Oliphant inquiry. David Johnston barred the Airbus contract from the scope of the inquiry when he wrote its terms of reference. (Harper quipped “whatever we paid him for this, it wasn’t enough.” Later he made him Governor General.)

    Fact is Mulroney is a worse crook than Nixon.

    • Yes you are right, of course. I despised Mulroney for years as the most corrupt PM ever. Then the absolute bodied forth in harper. And now, I look on Mulroney in a nostalgic, kindly way.

      • Me too. Now I can look back and see the libs ran a very effective campaign against him, but it wasn’t all fair at all. The guy could have been a great PM if he wasn’t obsessed with trumping PET and if he didn’t believe his own bs so completely. Odd to say it but I think BM lacked real self confidence and over compensated with his Irish blarney. It was actually a shame in some ways.

    • Mulroney may well have been crooked( he certainly could be sleazy) but worse than Nixon…no way. Tricky Dick tried to subvert democracy, he spied on opponents. It’s possible BM may have allowed German money to subvert our politics, but it is still unproven. RN was truly dangerous. He should have gone to jail. Mulroney too maybe- but on lesser charges.

      • Was anything “proven” with Nixon? He resigned before being impeached.

        It was proven that Mulroney lied about his relationship with Schreiber under oath, defrauding a $2.1M settlement from taxpayers. It was proven he accepted $300,000 in cash stuffed envelopes from Schreiber.

        The only thing that saved Mulroney’s skin was corrupt cronyism that scuttled the public inquiry into his shady dealings with Schreiber, who had represented the Airbus consortium.

        It’s more plausible that NASA faked the moon landing than there being some alternative explanation of why Mulroney ended up with the money (one, Mulroney himself, didn’t attempt to offer Canadians.)

    • Ron, you have Malroney pegged solid as far as I’m concerned..

      Pick up a used copy of a book titled ” And Justice for Some – Power and Patronage in Ottawa.” written by Robert Harrison.

      Harrison wrote it, didn’t get sued, and it makes that 300 thousand business look like Boy Scout work. Stuff well buried that no one has heard of.

    • I couldn’t agree more.

  3. . . . . and now the re-imagining of Mulroney as a great PM has commenced.

    • Some of us appreciated him at the time.

      • Yes, you and the other one.

        • Mulroney was a very popular PM…never defeated, 2 majorities.

          • never defeated because he didn’t stay around for the worst loss in Tory history.

          • Well he didn’t cause it.

          • First majority: Mulroney didn’t so much win as the Liberals lost; like how Stephen Harper won in 2006. Second majority: Country was split down the middle on free trade and his majority was razor thin; like how Bush Jr. won a second term in the US.

            You make the mistake of assuming his majorities were due to Mulroney being liked, but when you look at the facts. it had little to nothing to do with his popularity. In fact, for most of his time in office, his popularity rarely drifted north of 40 per cent. That’s nothing to hang your hat on.

          • As Mulroney himself has said… either do the right thing, or you do the popular thing.

            He did the right thing….and was a great PM

          • Is this Brian Mulroney replying? Don’t you have people to do this for you, Mr. Mulroney?

          • One of the things I dislike most about Canada is our keenness to tear people down, to sneer, and to concentrate on every little fault no matter how minor…..but never to recognize them for anything good.

            Good people don’t need this kind of hassle….so we end up with the worst people in office.

          • Mulroney was himself responsible for being disliked by most Canadians by the time he was forced out of office. I don’t recall people having similar feelings towards Chretien. Of course, he is too much of an egomaniac to think he ever did anything wrong.

          • He wasn’t forced out of office, he retired undefeated.

          • I remember when the knives came out to get rid of Mulroney. One PC MP said on the news “the people hate him.” Mike Harris was a rat leaving a sinking ship. Mulroney was delusional enough to think he could’ve sailed it to another majority — if he first wasn’t forced to walk the plank.

          • I was into politics heavily at the time Ron….didn’t happen.

          • Jeez, the gall of her !

          • I saw a cartoon once….father talking to son. Father said ‘ One day you’ll realize that the people capable of running the country are too smart
            to get into politics.’

            I have found that to be true

          • I can’t even dignify that with a response. You clearly view Mulroney through rose-coloured glasses for some reason. It’s not even funny anymore; it’s just sad.

          • Yes, you are very sad. I already said that.

          • Mila, this is Mila. Now it makes sense.

          • LOLOLOL

          • I think Emily forgets that after Mulroney was done with the Progressive Conservatives it was reduced to two seats in the House of Commons. After that it remained the fifth party until it was swallowed up by the Reform party. You are delusional if you think Kim Campbell was responsible for that (like Mulroney does.)

          • Of course if you’d stop ranting long enough to read the other posts you’d know my answer to that.

  4. I’ve seen him speak in person once and a few other recorded segments. He has a great little go-to speech where he talks about being in an elevator and a woman keeps looking at him:

    “So we are about to get off and finally she says “excuse me, did you know you bear a startling resemblance to former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney?” So I smiled and chucked and said “why yes, I do get that sometimes.”

    “‘Must make you mad, eh?”, she says” :)

    • Cute line….self-deprecating humour is always popular.

  5. Just for the record….

    Mulroney got rid of the operating deficit, and lowered the MST, changed it’s name and made it visible. Canadians were unaware they were even paying it, and had been since the 20s..

    He ordered the military choppers, brought in Free Trade, abolished FIRA,
    abolished the NEP, and held a national referendum.

    The Mulroney caucus and cabinet of 1984 was one of the least bilingual in
    Canadian history, with a significant number of Quebec MPs and cabinet ministers
    who spoke no English, and few English-speaking members who spoke French.

    The cabinet also had a pro-Western bias. Cabinet ministers from Alberta
    were more powerful than they had ever been before. The items on the agenda drawn up by the Western premiers at their annual meeting shortly before the Mulroney government’s election were systematically ticked off:

    So the west thanked him……by creating Reform.

    • I have a hypothetical question having to do with MST.
      MST or FST was a tax applied at the manufacturing level, 12% of the manufacturers price, I believe.
      Now if your evil intention was to rid the country of good high paying manufacturing jobs and send the those jobs to China, and if your profligate administration needed the money from taxing manufactured goods that no longer existed; what would you do?
      I’ll bet you’d bring in a ubiquitous tax that applied to everything and call it the GST.

      • No you don’t…you have yet another tiresome ‘plot’.

        ‘The purpose of the national sales tax was to replace the 13.5%
        Manufacturers’ Sales Tax (MST) that the federal government imposed at
        the wholesale level on manufactured goods. Manufacturers were concerned
        that the tax hurt their international competitiveness. The GST also
        replaced the Federal Telecommunications Tax of 11%.’

        And btw… the Berlin Wall finally came down in 1989….China wasn’t even close to taking manufacturing jobs from the west at that point.

        • “China wasn’t even close to taking manufacturing jobs from the west at that point.”

          So are you trelling me that little Marxist Globalists like yourself are short term thinkers?

          • Even worse than conspiracy theory is confused conspiracy theory…

            Ciao Chucky.

          • I suppose !
            Anyway Emily, nice to see you in the office right on time at 9.00, cuddled up to your keyboard and ready to roll for another big day of BS.

          • Oh Emily, it’s not really a conspiracy theory. Just the other day you were bragging about being a Globalist.

            And by conicidence, from reading Wikipedia, I just happen to know that for the most part, Globalists are Marxist oriented. Nothing wrong with that is there?

          • LOL leftwingers hate globalization, and charge that it’s rightwiners and evil corporations who are leading it. Taking us to the lowest possible wages everywhere. So, not Marxist, sorry.

      • The GST is a Value Added Tax which generally a good idea. Most developed countries have much higher VATs than Canada. (There is some strong opposition to a sales tax in western provinces, but it is misguided from the point of view of most economists.)

        The reason why Canada has lost 500,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 6 or so years is because of the highly over-valued dollar (25% overvalued based on Purchasing Power Parity, according to the OECD.)

        To use an example of how destructive this policy is: if suddenly all prices on goods were declared 25% higher at Canadian Tire than Walmart, where would you shop? How long would it be before Canadian Tire went out of business?

        Free trade globalization is also destroying the manufacturing base in developed countries. It simply allows businessmen to bypass first-world regulations and wages. That’s why the rich have thrived over the past 30 years, while living standards declined for everyone else. But this practice is not sustainable. It is destroying first-world markets and is the major reason economic growth has slowed to a crawl and the global economy is stuck in a quagmire.

        Free trade is a failed, ideological trade initiative that doesn’t take all factors into consideration. Trade implies a relatively equal exchange. But what we are seeing is that first-world countries are hemorrhaging wealth and jobs to developing nations creating massive and unsustainable trade deficits. (We export many times what we import from developing nations.) The goal of trade is to *export* as well as import. But workers in developing countries are poor and exploited so they can’t afford to buy the goods they make. This is terrible and destructive economic mismanagement that is winding back the clock on progress in first-world countries foolish enough to engage in the practice..

        • Except for a couple of small things I agree with you:

          a) GST is a regressive tax that that thrusts a much larger burden(as a % of income) on poor people than it does on say Paul Martin or Brian Malroney.

          b) An additional factor in our loss of manufacturing jobs is the great failure
          of the economy of the United States which purchased most of our manufacturing output.

          Free trade, practiced in the way you suggest, is essentially Marxist globalism.

          Guys like Bob Rae didn’t buy into Free Trade until they realized that
          it was a way to expand their socialist income redistribution schemes exponentially. Instead of simply taking money from one person in Ontarian and giving it to another person in Ontario, Bob and Chretien suddenly had an epiphany.

          Bob and Chretien suddenly realized that with free trade you could take both money and a jobs from people in Ontario and spread them all over the world.

          • A VAT/GST does have some regressive elements to it. The rich consume less of their income than other groups, so they pay less tax. But the poor get rebates so they pay the least of all groups. (That is if they file their tax returns.)

            But I think it’s a tax that has its place. It’s best to have a broad spectrum of taxes to ensure everyone is taxed fairly. If one group is not tax fairly it results in other groups paying their taxes, or rising government debt. The reason government debt went from 17% (1973) to 85% (2011) is because of 25 years of continuous tax cuts that benefited the rich the most.

            Free-trade globalization definitely produces a global oligarchy. But I would consider it plutocratic instead of Marxist. Notice how China and Russia changed overnight from capitalist oligarchies from communist ones. We need global democracy and accountability to counter this destructive trend, in my opinion.

  6. Trudeau, Mulroney and Chretien were all in the pocket of Power Corp. and the Desmarais family.

    • OMG…yet another deep conspiracy theory…it’s all a plot!!!

      But hey…if both Cons and Libs are in cahoots, I guess you’ll have to vote NDP eh?

      • Too bad you’re stuck in that time warp in the eighties, old PC’s never die, they just smell funny.

        All three work or have worked for the Desmarais family and Power Corp.

        If clue were shoes………………

        • POWER CORP:

          The company is controlled by Paul Desmarais, Sr.. Paul Desmarais, Jr. is one of thirty members of the North American Competitiveness Council, a group whose advice directs the policies of Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Additionally, the company has long been a close ally of the Liberal Party of Canada,
          although former or current members of other Canadian political parties
          have also worked for Power Corp. A brief summary of the connections
          between Power Corp. and those with political power in Canada is below.

          Former Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, was hired in the 1960s to work for Paul Desmarais, Sr. by Maurice Strong. Martin became President of Canada Steamship Lines,
          a subsidiary of Power Corp., and in 1981 Desmarais sold the company to
          Martin and a partner. Martin went on to make his personal fortune as an
          owner of CSL.

          Former Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chrétien sat on the board of Power Corp. subsidiary Consolidated Bathurst in the late 1980s before he became the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. Chrétien’s daughter France is married to the son of Paul Desmarais, Sr., André. Also Chrétien’s chief of staff Eddie Goldenberg worked in the past for Power Corp.

          Former Prime Minister of Canada, the late Pierre Trudeau,
          served in the mid-1990s on Power Corp.’s international advisory board.
          Trudeau’s assistant Ted Johnson also worked for Power Corp. During the
          Trudeau administration Michael Pitfield
          held a variety of positions in government but during his time in the
          private sector he was at one time a Vice-Chairman of Power Corp. and is
          currently listed as a Director Emeritus.

          Former Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney
          also has a relationship with Power Corporation. Mulroney’s friend Ian
          MacDonald described Desmarais as “Mulroney’s mentor in the business
          world,” and it is believed that Mulroney has done legal work for Power
          Corp. since the end of his term as Prime Minister. Additionally, former
          Mulroney Minister of Transport Don Mazankowski is currently Power Corp.’s company director.

          Former Premiers of Ontario William Davis and John Robarts of the Progressive Conservatives have both sat on Power Corp.’s national advisory board. John Rae, the brother of former NDP Premier Bob Rae, currently serves as Power Corp.’s Executive Vice President.

          Former Premier of Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Jr. worked for Power Corp. from 1973 to 1981 and in the last three years of this term was a Vice-President in the company.

          Former member of the Liberal Party of Canada Maurice Strong became President of Power Corp. by his mid-thirties. He had a role in the creation of the Canadian International Development Agency and in 1976 he was appointed to run Petro-Canada. He later worked for the United Nations.

          • Maurice Strong is still holed up in China, because of an INTERPOL warrant for his arrest for his role in the UN Oil For Food Scandal.

          • No he’s not….stop fantasizing. And the rest is hokum too. Gawd, what tosh!

          • Billy….stop with the nonsense.

          • It’s called reality, but then I forget that you live in a world of lollipops, fairy tales and unicorns.

          • I believe you’re the religious kook living in the 50s….so don’t talk to me about your illusions

          • I’m younger than that, another swing and a miss, three strikes, you’re out.

          • You’re probably 16…..but mentally you’re a fogey.

          • Oh boy Billy and all that from wikipedia – the online bs that anyone can add and subtract info to….. typical CON argument.

          • All your sources are either wiki, right wing US rags, conspiracy nuts or the odious SDA. Some researcher you are Billy boy. Was Desmarais behind 911 too? Is he the archetypal Jew behind the dastardly liberal party, by any chance?
            And your takeaway is that SH is some white knight beyond the influence and corrupting ambit of big business? You sure convinced me Billy boy!

          • Typical leftwingnut kcm2

          • Uncle Mo was Paul Martin’s mentor;

            A copy of a cheque for the sum of $988,850.00 to Maurice Strong, from Korean businessman Tongsun Park. Mr. Park was apprehended last week on a flight to Panama from Canada
            – which he was allowed to board, despite being listed on Interpol – on
            charges stemming from the UN Oil-For-Food investigation. He’s currently
            in US custody, having been denied bail as a high flight risk.

            In December a Congressional report called for an investigation into
            Maurice Strong, mentor to Prime Ministers, member of the Privy Council,
            architect of Kyoto, creator of CIDA, former Senior Advisor to Kofi
            Annan, and the man who made PetroCanada possible.

            Peter Foster , in the Financial Post – Jan13;

            Last Friday’s arrest of Korean businessman Tongsun Park
            in connection with the United Nations Oil- For-Food scandal inevitably
            brings super-envirocrat Mr. Strong back into the limelight, much, no
            doubt, to the Liberals’ chagrin.

            Mr. Park has been fingered as funnelling funds from the Iraqi regime
            to influence UN officials. One is Mr. Strong. It may be, as Mr. Strong
            claims, that he saw no connection between the million laundered dollars
            he received from Mr. Park to help bail him out of a sticky situation and
            Mr. Park’s pro-Iraqi activities, but the fact that Mr. Strong is
            perennially involved in sticky business situations is surely material.
            After all, Mr. Strong wants to mastermind a new bureaucratic world order
            that would manage literally everything. And since “secret agendas” are
            all the rage with the increasingly desperate Liberals, the Prime
            Minister’s connection with mentor and business partner Mr. Strong
            deserves a good airing.

          • The tantalizing tale of missing Kofi Annan pointman Maurice Strong is no longer one of those puzzling unsolved mysteries.

            Canadian `Chairman Mo’, a big gun in the international arena, dropped
            right off the radar screen in April of 2005 when his alleged ties to
            the UN Oil-for-Food scandal cropped up and wouldn’t go away.

            According to the investigative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Mo’s
            location has been pinpointed, and it never required a Miss Marple to
            track him down.

            AWOL Maurice Strong is alive and kicking in Beijing.

            Canada Free Press, whose two favourite people to track are Mo and his
            sidekick, the self-reinvented-as-American-patriot Mikhail Gorbachev,
            always knew that Mo would return to China, his favourite place on Mother

            What we didn’t know, but read with relish in the Pittsburgh
            Tribune-Review, is that the smooth-talking architect of the Kyoto
            Protocol, has no choice but to remain in the Orient,

            “Maurice must now remain in China (where he is very welcome) to avoid
            questioning by the FBI and Canadian investigators about the $1 million
            that Tongsun gave him and which Mo tried to hide in his son Fred’s
            nuclear power company, which now is bankrupt.” (Pittsburg
            Tribune-Review, July 30, 2006.)

          • Fantasizing,really? Just why do YOU think Maurice Strong is holed up in Communist China when all his good buddies are in Ottawa and Montreal.?

            The one I liked was when they ran him out of Colorado for some scheme to drain water out of the Baca aquifer.

          • Strong had his start as an entrepreneur in the Alberta oil patch and was president of Power Corporation of Canada until 1966. In the early 1970s he was secretary general of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and then became the first executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. He returned to Canada to become chief executive officer of Petro-Canada from 1976 to 1978. He headed Ontario Hydro,
            one of North America’s largest power utilities, was national president
            and chairman of the Extension Committee of the World Alliance of YMCAs, and headed American Water Development Incorporated. He served as a commissioner of the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1986 and is recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as a leader in the international environmental movement.
            He was president of the council of the University for Peace from 1998 to 2006. Today Strong is an active honorary professor at Peking University
            and honorary chairman of its Environmental Foundation. He is chairman
            of the advisory board for the Institute for Research on Security and
            Sustainability for Northeast Asia.

      • Forgot about Paul Martin, he’s in that cabal too.

        • Like I said…you’ll have to vote Dipper then.

          Or maybe Green. LOL

          • No, the Conservative Party of Canada is my choice.

            There’s a reason BM’s nickname is Lyin’ Brian.

          • The Con party isn’t remotely conservative Billy-Bob….and Mulroney has won his place in history…..while you are still sitting around sulking

          • Easy on the meds there Bessie.

            Lyin’ Brian sure did “win” his place in history.

            Excuse me………sulking?

          • Billy….I’m allowed to like any politician I want to, it being a free country and all.

            If you don’t….although you probably weren’t around then…fine, but don’t bore me with your version of events. I’m not interested.

  7. This Waller guy is insane. The very idea that Mulroney directed the purchase of 2 billion dollars of airbus aircraft in return for 300k is the stupidest god damned thing I have ever heard. It is also a lie not supported by the facts and if you have any evidence why not come clean.

    • Gee, I thought the Frank Magazine furniture story made him look at lot more stupid than the 300K thing,

  8. Mulroney was Liberal-Lite.
    His own sense of entitlements was no different than the Liberal governments that preceded and followed him.

    His worst legacy was the Liberal government that he enabled to follow him.

    His greatest legacy was that he inadvertently was the cause of a new and reformed conservative movement that will govern Canada for the first part of the 21st Century.

    • LOL the Con party is just a bunch of SoCreds….cranky ol white guys who are on their last hurrah from the 1950s.

    • Extreme conservatives are ignorant of the political spectrum. Mulroney was neo-con light and to the right of Nixon and Diefenbaker (and any other pre-Reagan Republican or Progressive Conservative; that is: right of center.)

      Saying he was Liberal-light makes no sense; it implies he was left of the Liberals. The Liberals were left of him, but have moved into the right-of-center position over the past 20 years espousing failed free-market policies like privatization, free trade and reckless tax cuts for the wealthy.

      Interesting how hard-right conservatives hate the Liberals even more as they move to the right. They won’t be happy until living standards are wound back to the 19th-century; then they won’t be happy because they only dream of being rich and will end up a victim of their own misguided beliefs (having been played by plutocrats.) Then again, these people are misery-loves-company fanatics; they prefer bitterness and anger to happiness…

      • In 1988, some political pundits pointed out how Mulroney and the PC’s had a campaign platform to the left of Democrat presidential candidate Michael Dukakis’s campaign. Michael Dukakis(former governor of left-wing Massachusetts) came from the left-wing of the Democrat Party.Yet, our main right-wing party of the time(the PC’s) were to their left. This absurdity was also evident in both Great Britain and Ireland. Margaret Thatcher actually governed to the right of the Republican administration(George Bush Sr.)which defeated Dukakis. In 1980’s Australia, it could be argued that center-left Labor Party Prime Minister Bob Hawke governed to the right of Mulroney on economic issues. The point is that Mulroney(like Joe Clark, Diefenbaker and the other PC leaders)was a Red Tory who felt that victory could be achieved only by leaving little breathing space between the PC’s and Liberals. Liberals moved to the country to the left when they governed. PC governments did nothing to move it back to the right. The rise of the Reform Party led eventually to a governing Canadian party that is solidly on the right. No one would ever accuse Harper’s Conservatives of being to the left of the Democrat Party.Our current Conservative Party would be a better fit in the moderate Northeastern wing of the Republican Party(ex: Scott Brown or Olympia Snowe). Outside of Canada, Mulroney was considered as leaning left.

  9. Mr. Geddes, I have always appreciated your fine and to the point writing.

  10. A great prime minister who, sadly, could be bought with cold hard cash.

  11. This guy has no scrupples what so ever.Most crooks would not show their faces after being caught takeing bribes.

  12. Disgusting. A liar, cheat and thief. Must we look at him again? he belongs in jail.

  13. Who cares what Brian Mulroney says anymore. He is part of an outdated era. He governed as a Red Tory(basically a Liberal) in a party(the old PC’s) that was really more progressive than conservative. Margaret Thatcher( a far more successful leader herself) criticized him as being more progressive than conservative policywise. There wasn’t a real conservative bone in his body. He was a social liberal. In 1987, he ordered his cabinet to vote the bill reinstating the death penalty(as well as worked behind the scenes for its defeat) despite a strong majority of Canadians approving of the death penalty. He signed off on every piece of gun control legislation that ever came before him. He did little to endear himself to the pro-life movement. Mulroney also failed to bulk up the Canadian military. There is a great CBC video from 1985 on line documenting how bad the equipment for Canadian forces serving in europe was.In addition, I don’t remember him doing much to reduce the size of government or lower taxes. In fact, I remember a certain GST being implemented. The only remotely conservative thing he ever did was kill the NEP. He had to do that or there probably be a leadership challenge from one of the western MPs.In 1984, he won because people were sick of almost 21 years of uninterrupted Liberal Party. In 1988, Mulroney won only because he rallied the conservative base with calls for free trade. He was losing reelection before that.

    Harper(while not perfect) is a far more conservative and effective leader. He(unlike Mulroney) has succeeded to some degree in gradually moving the country rightward. Harper cut the GST from 7% to 5%. He also cut corporate tax rates and increased the retirement age from 65 to 67 for CPP benefits(strengthened the ability of the funds to pay out without going bankrupt)..Harper ended the Canadian Wheat Board.He took Canada out of Kyoto and expanded opportunities for resource development.He has also successfully pushed new free trade agreements. In addition, he is the first prime minister since the Korean War to properly fund Canadian troops(as well as slightly increase their numbers). He also pushed some elements of the social agenda. He ended the long gun registry and strengthened self-defense laws. There are some additional things that I would like him to do. I would like to see a national binding referendum on reinstating the death penalty or placing some restrictions on abortion(bringing us in line with every other country . Or privatizing certain government run services. However, by and large, Harper and his Conservatives are far more right-wing than Mulroney’s crew. In today’s Canada, Mulroney would fit far better as a Liberal.

  14. Only in Canada would a crook like this be allowed back into private life.