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18th Prime Minister

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18th Prime Minister of Canada

"I am a Conservative, but one does not need to wear a label to believe that governments should balance budgets; that industry, being the motor of the country, must be kept turning; that initiative should be rewarded; that relations between labour and management should be civil; that research and development are the keys to our national wellbeing; that the essence of federalism, or any system of administration is cooperation and consensus." (Ondaatje, 175)

Brain Mulroney did many things to help our government and to benefit Canada during his nine year term. One thing that he did was pass the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement, which help open the door for North American Free Trade Agreement.

Brian Mulroney's background contributed greatly towards his win as Prime Minister. He was on born march 20th 1939, in the small town of Baie Comeau, just three hundred fifty kilometers downstream from Quebec City. The small town depended on its fishing, mining and pulp industry. It was a newly established town, accessible only by boat in the summer, and not accessible at all in the winter. Brian Mulroney's father, Benedict Mulroney and his wife Irene both immigrated here from Ireland. During the Great Depression Benedict found work as an electrician, and was later offered a permanent job within a new pulp mill. Benedict wanted to give his six children more so he also kept his electrician job, so that he could fund his children's education. The Mulroney family spoke English at home, but the children spoke French when with their friends. When Brian was sixteen, he decided to go away to St. Thomas High School, a Catholic boys boarding school in Chatham, New Brunswick. Once out of high school Brian went to St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. While attend their Brian made the decision that he want to become prime minister, and committed himself to the Conservative Party, regardless of the fact that Liberals were prevailing. Brian then chose to go to law school at Dalhousie University, but after one year he transferred to Laval University, in Quebec City. He graduated from Laval University in 1962. Brian then accepted a job from a Montreal law firm, later becoming a partner in that firm. Mulroney also served on the Progressive Conservative Party's finance and policy committees. In May of 1973 Brian Mulroney married Mila Pivnicki, and had three children. Although Brian had never held public office, he still ran for election as Conservative leader at the party's 1976 national convention. He had campaigned hard but lost to Joe Clark. After losing he took the job of executive vice president of the Iron Ore Company of Canada. In 1977 Brian was appointed company president. Around the middle of 1983 Clark's leadership of the Progressive Conservatives was being questioned, which compelled him to call a national party convention and leadership election. Brian Mulroney was the elected candidate once again. The liberal party then issued a general election for September 1984. The campaign featured three debates between the Liberal and Conservative leaders, during which both English and French were spoken. Since Mulroney was bilingual he won the support for the conservatives. The election results made Canadian history. The Conservatives led in every province, emerging as a national party for the first time since 1958. The party's greatest achievement was Quebec, which up to then had been strongly liberal. Some might say that it was "Mulroney's emphasis on the need for national unity and improved relations between the federal and provincial governments promised Canadians a new era of harmony after the difficult years under former Prime Minister Trudeau."(Microsoft)

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