Skip to comments.Brian Mulroney regales Rotman crowd with tales of free trade agreement (25th anniversary)
Posted on 02/16/2013 10:23:07 AM PST by 1rudeboy
The buzz of anticipation rose as the hall filled. The reserved ringside seats were duly claimed by those of appropriate rank, usually sleek of dress and grey of head. More fans were expected — 700 or so — than there were seats to accommodate them, and ushers worked diligently, as the moment approached, to get all comers settled.
Then, right on time, a small entourage arrived. Applause erupted at the sight of the old warrior framed in the doorway, his profile as instantly recognizable as any in Canada. And, as ever, the cheers lit him up.
His always stiff gait seemed slightly more so as he entered. But when a woman old enough to remember sprang from her front-row seat to greet him, his professional’s instincts kicked in and he summoned the old combination.
There was the quick point of a finger in apparent recognition, the delight upon his face as if she was the very person he’d hoped to see, an obligatory air-buss as he moved toward centre-stage.
If, 20 years removed from office, former prime minister Brian Mulroney was puffier, seemed wearier, the pouches under his eyes more pronounced, his tailoring was as impeccable as ever, all gleaming white cuffs and collars, his blue tie exquisite, the watch a statement as much as timepiece.
The only thing missing, as Mulroney arrived at the University of Toronto’s Rotman business school for a chat this week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his free trade agreement with the United States, was a wizened old corner-man with towels slung over his arm.
Had someone blared Rick Astley’s bouncy “Together Forever” over the PA system (Mulroney’s campaign song back then), and had wife Mila been at his side, beaming and pointing and air-kissing along with him, it could almost have been the Great Free Trade Election of 1988 all over again.
For an hour, in conversation with Rotman Prof. Joseph Martin, that well-deep baritone spun war stories of epic fights past and how — after time does its inevitable work — his accomplishments will stand among the greatest in Canada’s history.
Yet Brian Mulroney made plain that, as Simon and Garfunkel sang, he still carries the reminder of every long-ago glove that landed during the free trade fight.
Though he is “a statesman now,” and above the fray, the feckless media, timid Canadians, opportunistic opponents, the America bashers, the Reagan haters all came in for contemptuous recollection that a quarter-century seemed to have but mildly softened.
The free trade deal was, in fact, born of his preference for accomplishment over popularity, Mulroney said, and founded on his personal relationship with U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Mr. Speaker, delighted to see the prime minister back in Ottawa after sucking up with the Americans in a disgraceful way. What a shameful prime minister! Surely youre ashamed of yourself! And that dummy Reagan down there! And Bush! What a shadow of a vice president he is.
I said to both of them, Are you enjoying this? Ive got to put up with this every day.
He said Bush and Baker took the tape back to Washington and played it for Reagan, who said: Weve got to do something for Brian right now.
He did it under cover of that Secret Service scandal which "happened" to erupt at the same time; the left was almost unaware that it happened.
Stupid question: are you the keeper of the Canada ping list? (In the sense that, are you the one to alert when I post a Canada-related thread?)
Can't believe I found it.
Yes I am, I took over from fanfan a while back.
Can we get back there? We now have a majority that believes wealth creates poverty.
Also, how do we reestablish our moral foundation, the one that gave us all this wealth?:
Take a listen.
He’ll be fortunate if that becomes his legacy, and not the national sales tax that was implemented under his tenure.
I have no opinion on it, haven't done the necessary research.
The Goods And Services Tax(GST) was imposed on top of the income tax. The high tax environment stifled growth and created the infamous brain-drain of the 90’s.