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The impression left by Mr. Mulroney

March 6th,2024 | Valley Voices

By Brian Goodman

In the 1983 Progressive Conservative leadership campaign, my late father was an organizer for Joe Clark. I was a little young to remember much about that campaign (to be fair, I was four), but I do know that my dad came around to Mr. Brian Mulroney, and in 1987, when I was seven years old, he took me to meet him at a rally in Winnipeg.

There are two things that I remember from that day. First, I remember that my dad took me to Burger King for mini-cheeseburgers (I ate 13, which my dad talked about for years afterward). Second, I remember meeting the imposing but kind man who was our prime minister. As I look back now, I realize this was a man who cared deeply about the things that I now care deeply about.

The list of Mulroney’s accomplishments is long and well-documented. He saw the environment as a top priority, passing the Environmental Protection Act, ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity and signing an acid rain treaty with the U.S. He saw international trade as a means to prosperity and opportunity, signing the North American Free Trade Agreement. 

He also acted with integrity and fairness when it came to relations between his government and the provinces and with other countries. He sacrificed an enormous amount of political capital to right an historic wrong when he tried to get Quebec’s signature on Pierre Trudeau’s 1982 constitutional amendments. And he fought apartheid in South Africa at a time when many of Canada’s allies were not willing to do so.

On Feb. 29, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney took his final steps into history. He accomplished much in his time in government. He had also alienated enough Canadians by the end of his two terms that his party suffered an historic defeat. But that’s the price of doing big, important things. And it takes a special kind of person to do those things, and our country is better off for them.

My dad’s passion for politics left an impression on me, as did Mr. Mulroney and his accomplishments. With ambitions fueled by two great men, I recently set out on my own political journey. Protecting the environment and promoting Canadian ingenuity through international trade are and will always be my north star in this campaign and in politics. And thanks to the work of Mr. Mulroney, the tools are in place to achieve just that.

Brian Goodman lives in Chelsea and is running for the federal Conservative nomination in Pontiac. He can be reached through his website at goodmanpourpontiac.ca or by email at info@goodmanpourpontiac.ca.

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