Leveraging Canada-US relations "to get big things done" (interview)
openly critical of Reagan's sharp anti-Soviet rhetoric, and Rea. 1 For an assessment summit meeting between Mulroney and Reagan in the city of. Quebec in. The foreign policy of the Ronald Reagan administration was the foreign policy of the United Reagan escalated the Cold War with the Soviet Union, marking a departure from .. Relations between Libya and the U.S. under President Reagan were especially Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and Brian Mulroney in Canada. It signalled a new era in the Canada-U.S. relationship. In , Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and President Ronald Reagan belted out a rendition of When Irish.
Mulroney said, harking back to when as then-leader of the opposition Progressive Conservatives, he travelled to Washington to see the U. Story continues below advertisement "Usually, a leader of the opposition gets five minutes and a handshake from a president," the former prime minister said in an interview.
Mulroney and his wife, Mila, became close family friends of the Reagans. Mulroney will join U. Bush, former president George Bush and Mrs.
Thatcher in giving eulogies at Mr. Reagan's state funeral in Washington's National Cathedral.
Mulroney, 65, would not disclose the contents of his eulogy, promising only that he would not speak for long. Reagan received a long line of mourners on Thursday. Mulroney talked with Mrs. At the global level, the Cold War was over, the Soviet Union having ceased to exist at the end of and Washington and Moscow having agreed to reprogram their nuclear arse- nals. Across the globe, the end of superpower confrontation had brought political change as the calcu- lus that had prompted great-power support of despotic, corrupt or author- itarian regimes changed and those regimes collapsed.
On occasion, the collapse prompted particularly vicious civil wars, but this too ushered in another change: The management of an increasing- ly globalized economy had also changed during this period.
While some Canadians suffered as a result of the unemployment and dislocation that occurred as firms rationalized their oper- ations, in the aggregate Canadians would be much better off as a consequence of the massive increases in trade. But the Mulroney Conservatives proved no more capable than the Trudeau Liberals at grappling with government expendi- tures: And Mulroney himself would leave politics widely disliked by the Canadian public; journalists would write unflattering accounts of his tenure as prime minister; and he would be hounded by an allegation of corrup- tion and scandal in a notorious case that was not finally closed until with no proof of the original allegation having been presented, six years after the government settled his libel lawsuit on the courthouse steps, with an apol- ogy to the former PM and his family as well as payment of his entire costs.
Moreover, appreciations of his tenure are made more difficult because of his personal unpopularity; because he has yet to write his memoirs; and because, unlike Trudeau, Mulroney does not have champions in the scrib- bling classes writing on his years in power, spinning the story of his time in power in particularly favourable ways.
One of the most important changes in Canadian politics that will be associat- ed with the Mulroney era is the transfor- mation of the political landscape.
Mulroney had been very success- ful in forging a winning coalition in But it proved impossible to sustain.
Part of the problem was the fundamental contradic- tion deeply rooted within the PC party. Differences could be " and were " papered over, not mentioned, left to be resolved at a later time. As a strategy for opposition, this might have been appropriate and politically effective. However, the process of governing exposed all the contradictions inherent in the union of these disparate ideological groups.
And although Mulroney is frequently portrayed by critics as a leader in the mould of Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, in fact he shared little of the willingness of those leaders to engage in the kind of harsh politics with which the neoliberal is normally asso- ciated.
The reality was that Mulroney, while himself no Red Tory, was unwill- ing to risk the coalition he had so care- fully put together. The irony is that that very desire to please caused major disaffection, with the result that the Reform party, founded in as a protest against the putative failure of the Mulroney Conservatives to protect Western interests, ended up put- ting at least half of the nails in the Conservative party coffin.Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gives eulogy - BBC News
But to what extent can the rise of these parties of protest that ended up balkanizing Canadian politics in the s and beyond be attributed to Mulroney him- self? Here the answer is less clear.
And there can be little doubt that the dominance of the Red Tory mix in the Mulroney cabinet did not sit well with large num- bers of Western backbench MPs. I was so concerned by what he had done that I took Nicholas to see Bambi.
My son Nicholas was about three, I guess, at the time. The campaign was quite memorable in that sense, and there are certain echoes of it in concerns about sovereignty being expressed today by the Liberal opposition over Mr.
You remember it better than anyone. Our health care was going to be demolished, the cultural industries were going to be destroyed and, most of all, the border would be erased. Regional development was going to go. And official languages would be abolished. These were just some of the losses that we were going to endure, and we would lose millions of jobs, because we were going to be swallowed up by America, and I would be the governor of the 51st state.
Of course, none of it turned out to be true whatsoever. This filled me with concern because it meant the United States would be in the middle with a spoke into Canada and a spoke into Mexico, but only they would have a bilateral relationship with both. This is going to trivialize our relationship and diminish the impact of the Free Trade Agreement, and there has to be the three of us negotiating together to bring the equivalent of the Free Trade Agreement to Mexico.
We had to fight our way to get into that. We had to fight to get into that. None of it was true at all. I called a special caucus after a meeting with Cabinet. It was on a Saturday. I know it was a weekend, for sure. But we recognize that you view it as important, and that indeed it is important to your national security. You go ahead with our full support and our good wishes in trying to develop this, and we will remain on the sidelines.
Well, we thought that it would have an impact, obviously. And so we did what we did, and I think that worked out, as well. I know about it. I appreciate your courtesy in this. We were kind of used to headlines coming at us from Canada with no warning, attacking America and our aims and objectives.
The second example being your support and, indeed, your leadership on economic sanctions against South Africa, because of the apartheid regime and Nelson Mandela being held in prison as a symbol of it.
The Mulroney Years: Transformation and Tumult - Policy Options
You were leading one camp and Margaret Thatcher and Reagan were in another. They were no less committed than I was to the eradication of apartheid, but they felt that my insistence on sanctions against South Africa would only cripple the South Africans and not be advantageous to the masses, the working class, in the country. This, of course, ran counter to what we were being told by the ANC. Mandela himself had quite another view, did he not? Yes, indeed he did. When he came out, Mandela said that he supported what we had done percent and that he considered that Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan were completely wrong on this.
But to that, both Mrs. Have you talked to him? How would you know what he is? So we fought that battle very strongly, as you know, over many years. Finally, when Mandela came out, one of the first calls that he placed — one of the first calls I got — was to me saying that he had heard, when he was in prison, on the BBC shortwave, that a young Conservative prime minister had taken over in Canada and had lead the Commonwealth to this sanctions policy, and that, because of his gratitude, he would like to make his first visit to a democratic country Canada, to speak to Canadians and to thank them and their government for what they had done on his behalf.
That was very gratifying. As you may remember, it was a wonderful occasion when he came to Ottawa in Juneand he endorsed the Meech Lake Accord. Diefenbaker began it all, I think inwhen, at a Commonwealth conference, he — Mr.
Diefenbaker — moved for the expulsion of South Africa from the Commonwealth. He showed great leadership. And a prime minister who will be unrelenting in his pursuit of those limited objectives, and so, as a result, I served as prime minister for nine years. The most important file on my desk and on the desk of any prime minister of Canada is the Canada-US relationship. During that time, in terms of big ticket items, we achieved the following: Those are four big ticket items that we were able to resolve that have withstood the test of time for Canada — in nine years.
And in fact, Reagan, on the Arctic sovereignty issue, began with a different view. This was in Apriland you were showing him a globe in your office, right? Colin Powell, who was then his deputy national security adviser, was with him, and later told the story. Their view was that the Northwest Passage was the open sea and our view was that it was our waters, right? This belongs to Canada.