Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney dies at 84 | World News - Hindustan Times
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Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney dies at 84

Mar 01, 2024 01:33 PM IST

Canada’s 18th Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, considered one of the most popular leaders the country had in recent history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 84.

Canada’s 18th Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, considered one of the most popular leaders the country had in recent history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 84.

Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gestures while being recognized by the Speaker in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 6, 2017. (REUTERS)
Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney gestures while being recognized by the Speaker in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, November 6, 2017. (REUTERS)

Mulroney, who first became PM in a landslide victory in 1984, was also the country’s leader when its suffered its worst-ever terror attack, the bombing of Air India flight 182, the Kanishka, by Khalistani extremists on June 23, 1985, leading to the loss of 329 lives, while two baggage handlers in Tokyo’s Narita airport died from a blast from another bomb on a different airplane.

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Mulroney’s death was announced in a post on X by his daughter Caroline Mulroney, who is also a provincial Cabinet Minister in Ontario. “He died peacefully, surrounded by family,” she posted.

““As we mourn his passing and keep his family and friends in our thoughts, let us also acknowledge – and celebrate – Mr Mulroney’s role in building the modern, dynamic, and prosperous country we all know today,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement.

In another statement, the leader of the Conservative Party Pierre Poilievre said, “”It is with great sadness that Canadians learn of the loss of one of our greatest ever statesmen, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney. The love and prayers of all Canadians go to his beloved children, Caroline, Ben, Mark and Nicolas, and the love of his life, his best friend and wife, Mila.”

Mulroney, who was a Conservative, led his party to a sweeping win in the 1984 Federal elections, capturing 211 out of 282 seats in the House of Commons. He bested then-PM Pierre Eliot Trudeau, the late father of the current incumbent.

Born on March 20, 1939, in the town of Baie-Comeau in Quebec, Mulroney was PM for nearly nine years, after assuming the office in on September 17, 1984 and demitting it in June 25, 1993.

He was hailed for his work in crafting the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and for being among the first Western leaders to challenge the apartheid regime in South Africa, for which he was thanked by Nelson Mandela.

He was in office for just over nine months when the Kanishka terrorist bombing occurred, with the victims mainly Canadian citizens. According to a memo cited by the outlet Globe and Mail in a November 2006 report, Mulroney called his counterpart Rajiv Gandhi and “related his sympathies and condolences.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Anirudh Bhattacharya is a Toronto-based commentator on North American issues, and an author. He has also worked as a journalist in New Delhi and New York spanning print, television and digital media. He tweets as @anirudhb.

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