In September 1984, Brian Mulroney led the Progressive Conservative party to the largest victory in Canadian history, becoming Canada’s eighteenth Prime Minister.
He was re-elected with a majority government four years later thereby becoming the first Canadian Prime Minister in 35 years to win successive majority governments and the first Conservative Prime Minister to do so in 100 years. He resigned in June 1993, having served almost nine years as Prime Minister.
His government introduced bold new initiatives such as the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Canada-U.S. Acid Rain Treaty. Prime Minister Mulroney’s government also introduced a series of privatizations, a low inflation policy, historic tax reform, extensive deregulation and expenditure reduction policies that continue to be the basis of Canada’s impressive economic performance today.
Mr. Mulroney also served as Co-Chairman of the United Nations World Summit for Children and his government played leading roles in the campaign against apartheid in South Africa, the creation of Le Sommet de la Francophonie and the Gulf War.
Mr. Mulroney was born in Baie Comeau, Quebec in 1939, one of six children. His father, Benedict, was an electrician with the Quebec North Shore Paper Company. Mr. Mulroney graduated from St. Thomas College high school, Chatham, N.B., received his honours undergraduate degree from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, N.S., and a law degree from Université Laval in Quebec City.
He practised law in Montreal and served as President of the Iron Ore Company of Canada before entering politics by becoming Party Leader in 1983 and Leader of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons, to which he was first elected in 1983 and re-elected in 1984 and 1988.
Upon resigning, Mr. Mulroney rejoined the Montreal law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright as Senior Partner.
He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Quebecor nc. (Montreal), and serves as a director of The Blackstone Group L.P. (New York) and Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (New Jersey).
He also serves as chairman of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold Corporation (Toronto), and is a member of the advisory group of Lion Capital LLP (London).
Mr. Mulroney is also a Trustee of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the International Advisory Board of HEC Montréal.
Mr. Mulroney has been awarded Canada’s highest honour, Companion of the Order of Canada, has been made a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. He has also received the highest recognition from the following governments for his leadership in vital matters affecting their nations:
- Haiti – Grand-Croix de l’Ordre national Honneur et Mérite (1994)
- Ukraine – Order of Kniaz (King) Yaroslav the Wise, First Class (2007)
- Japan – Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (2011)
- South Africa – Supreme Companion of O.R. Tambo (Gold) (2015)
- France – Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur (2016)
Mr. Mulroney also has received honorary degrees and awards from universities and other governments at home and abroad.
In 2000, the McGill University North American Studies Institute determined that Mr. Mulroney had the best economic record of any Prime Minister since World War II. In 2003, the Institute for Research on Public Policy placed Mr. Mulroney 2nd in a ranking of the best prime ministers of the previous 50 years. In 2006, a panel of Canada’s leading environmental groups determined that Mr. Mulroney was “The Greenest Prime Minister in history.” In 2007, Mr. Mulroney’s autobiography, Memoirs, became Canada’s #1 national best seller and was described by the Ottawa Citizen as “the finest and most comprehensive memoir of any Prime Minister in Canadian history”. In 2009, a survey conducted by The Hill Times selected Mr. Mulroney as “the most admired” former Prime Minister of Canada.
In 1973, he married Mila Pivnicki and they have four children: Caroline (1974), Benedict (1976), Mark (1979) and Nicolas (1985). They reside in Montreal, Quebec.