Parliament’s final farewell to Brian Mulroney

(Ottawa) Driven by a deep feeling of justice which led him to fight apartheid in South Africa, Brian Mulroney was “one of the pillars of Canadian politics”. He has carved out a special place in Canadian history by implementing ambitious policies that have transformed the country in a positive and lasting way, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

What there is to know

  • Brian Mulroney died on February 29 at the age of 84.
  • The former prime minister’s coffin is scheduled to arrive in Ottawa on Tuesday, where it will lie in state for two days. The former prime minister will also lie in state at Saint-Patrick’s Basilica in Montreal on Thursday and Friday.
  • A national funeral will take place Saturday morning at the Notre-Dame basilica.

Mr. Trudeau and his colleagues from other political parties paid a vibrant tribute in the House of Commons on Monday to the former Prime Minister, who died on February 29 at the age of 84. Born in Baie-Comeau and from a modest family, Mr. Mulroney led the country from 1984 to 1993, winning two majority mandates in a row and advocating vast reforms that often aroused passions, but which resisted opposition. test of time, underlined the Prime Minister.

In turn, Mr. Trudeau, the leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, the leader of the New Democratic Party, Jagmeet Singh, the Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon and the co-leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May, highlighted the numerous achievements of Mr. Mulroney during his years in power. They also praised his leadership qualities, highlighted his dedication to his family, noted his great humanism and his incomparable sense of humor.

These tributes to the Commons in the presence of the former prime minister’s wife, Mila Mulroney, and their four children – Caroline, Ben, Mark and Nicholas – marked the start of a week of commemoration which will end Saturday in Montreal with a state funeral at the Notre-Dame basilica.


Brian Mulroney’s coffin upon his arrival in Ottawa on March 9

Until then, Brian Mulroney’s coffin should arrive in Ottawa this Tuesday, where he will lie in state until Thursday. The former prime minister will then lie in state at Saint-Patrick’s Basilica in Montreal.

Brian Mulroney served in this House for a decade. But he served the country throughout his life. He loved this country with all his heart. He knew we were capable of accomplishing great things. He saw that the greatest strength of our country was our common values.

Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

He recalled that he did not hesitate to call on the valuable advice of the father of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the difficult negotiations aimed at modernizing this trade agreement between his government and the administration. by Donald Trump.

“Brian played a dual role: that of advisor to my office and me as well as a role of defender of Canada with its friends and contacts in the political and business elite of the United States,” recalled the Prime Minister.

He emphasized in passing that Mr. Mulroney, despite his successes, had remained true to his roots. “He never forgot where he came from. He was always happy to shake everyone’s hand with the same enthusiasm, whether they were workers or monarchs. »

“We say goodbye to the man, but not to his conviction of putting country before politics, to his conviction to create opportunities and to his confidence in the infinite possibilities of Canada,” he also said. .

Poilievre’s inspiration

Speaking after Mr. Trudeau, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre immediately affirmed that Brian Mulroney was a “great statesman for Canada.”

He said the former prime minister’s journey was inspiring because of his own humble origins. “For me, this part of his heritage particularly touches me,” Mr. Poilievre said, recalling that he was adopted by parents who worked as teachers because his biological mother was too young to care for him.

Like millions of young people from similar backgrounds, we turned to him. We saw that if the son of a working-class electrician from an industrial city could become prime minister, then in this country anyone can aspire to do so, no matter where they come from.

Pierre Poilievre, leader of the Conservative Party

But the attention that the former prime minister always paid to others is also a source of inspiration, according to the Conservative leader.

“He was good at speaking into a microphone, but even better at speaking on the phone. In fact, for Brian Mulroney, phone calls were like an art form, because he used the telephone like Michelangelo might have used a chisel or a paintbrush. He did it to secure business deals, to charm foreign leaders, and, most importantly, to comfort grieving or suffering friends. »

Reconciliation with Quebec

Bloc MP Louis Plamondon, who was elected in 1984 under the banner of the Progressive Conservative Party led by Mr. Mulroney, spoke on behalf of his party.


Bloc Québécois MP Louis Plamondon

“I have good memories when I talk about this prime minister. I was elected at the same time as him in his team, on September 4, 1984. He was a great Canadian, a great Quebecer and a great prime minister,” said Plamondon.

After noting his many accomplishments, Mr. Plamondon said that Brian Mulroney’s name was “engraved in our hearts and time will keep it forever” because he tried to reconcile Quebec with the rest of the country.

Following these tributes in the Commons, Ben, Mark and Nicholas Mulroney publicly thanked Canadians for their expressions of support since the announcement of their father’s death.


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