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Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet mocked Mulroney, secret notes reveal

Mulroney was called “frivolous” a “new boy” easily ridiculed for “glibness and flippancy,” according to declassified record.

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Brian Mulroney was mocked in a secret 1983 notes of then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s cabinet, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Mulroney was called “frivolous” a “new boy” easily ridiculed for “glibness and flippancy,” according to declassified record.

The Liberal cabinet said they were confident it would beat Mulroney in a 1984 election.

Then-Environment Minister John Roberts, chair of a cabinet communications committee, at a June 23, 1983 meeting detailed plans to manage Mulroney as newly-elected Leader of the Opposition.

“He pointed out that Mr. Mulroney was identified with the right wing message emanating from the Progressive Conservatives,” said Cabinet Minutes.

“Mr. Roberts suggested the government should avoid making comments on the capabilities of the newly-elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party.

“The impression was being left that the government considered Mr. Mulroney to be frivolous and an opponent the government could easily manage.”

“In Mr. Roberts’ view, it would not be helpful to build low expectations among the public which the new leader would easily exceed. If comments were required, his glibness and flippancy might be emphasized as well as his opportunistic tender.”

Mulroney, a former president of Iron Ore Company of Canada, didn’t have a Commons seat at the time.

Cabinet described the Conservative Party as “sleazy” and debated when to call a byelection in Central Nova, N.S. that would allow Mulroney to take a House seat.

“While some Ministers felt it would be advantageous to keep the new leader out of the House during the autumn, it was recognized it may be too late and that the government would look ungracious and conniving,” said Minutes of a June 23, 1983 meeting.

Mulroney won an August 29 byelection and entered the Commons two weeks later.

“Ministers should remind the Conservatives of their leader’s corporate connections as often as possible,” said Minutes.

“Ministers raised the following points: Although they were aware of the Leader of the Opposition’s mistakes in the House, Ministers and backbenchers should be encouraged to adopt a quieter approach. They should be seen to be giving the ‘new boy’ a chance,” said Minutes.

Prime Minister Trudeau, Sr. in his first exchange with Mulroney told the Commons: “The Member for Central Nova has come a long way from that log cabinet in Pictou County. I see he has put away his rumpled trousers and old sweaters to be brought out again at the next election.”

Ministers at a November 16, 1983 meeting were assured of “political momentum and the signalling of a turning point” in Liberal fortunes.

Ministers at a May 3, 1984 meeting received a confidential report on polling data that claimed figures “reflected the gains which the Liberal Party had been making.”

The Party was defeated four months later.

Liberal MP John Roberts (St. Paul, Ont.), the communications committee chair who assured cabinet that Mulroney was glib and flippant, lost his seat.

Mulroney’s landslide election marked the last time any federal leader won more than fifty percent of the popular vote.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Left Coast

    March 16, 2021 at 10:21 am

    Children will be children . . . Politicians never change . . .

    Didn’t both Mulroney & marxist Pierre have connections to Power Corp and were part of the Eastern Elites? What did Mulloney do different from Trudope I ?
    I always thought of him as Pierre’s illigitimate son . . .
    Maloney made a lot or promises, Kept NONE and gave us the GST while continuing the failed policies of his predecessor.

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Letters

LETTER: Quebec is worth the effort

“It’s the first sensible insight that I have seen in a very long time.”

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RE: MAKICHUK: Let’s engage Quebec, and not just bash it

Your article is heartfelt and very impressive.

It’s the first sensible insight that I have seen in a very long time.

If at first, we don’t get far with Quebec, then keep trying. Thanks so much.

Richard Patterson
Ponoka, AB.

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Letters

LETTER: The rest of the country may think of Alberta as redneck — let them

Alberta is being looked at as redneck. Well I like it. It’s about time somebody stood up to the bull crap that’s being handed down.

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RE: MARSDEN: Vaccines are the anti-lockdown super weapon we need

When will the media start sending out the message vaccinated people can spread COVID-19 just as easy as non-vaccinated people.  In fact, maybe easier due to the mindset of invincibility they feel once vaccinated.

Start spreading the news the experimental drug vaccine only helps your personal immune system. It does not cure, make you immune, or stop you from spreading COVID-19.

The rising list of possible side effects to this untested long-term drug is scary, yet the media seems to ignore this except whatever the Pharma and government passes out. 

How come we don’t hear how many positives have been passed by vaccinated people? 

Alberta is being looked at as redneck. Well, I like it. It’s about time somebody stood up to the bull crap that’s being handed down. 

I think every unvaccinated person, when forced to stand in a line or segregated out, should stand in the line of the vaccinated. Slow the system down. 

Should tell the readers medical history is private.  If I have to sign a document for another doctor to see my records what authority does someone have to even ask me for my medical status to board a plane or get food etc.

Jerry Terpstra
Brooks, AB

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LETTER: Alberta should be off Equalization hook

Why would foreign nations be eligible for gratis Canadian money?

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RE: Alberta Equalization referendum a step closer to reality

Alberta should be off the hook for Equalization support to the new Nation of Quebec.

Why would foreign nations be eligible for gratis Canadian money? Unless, of course, Trudeau decides their girls need education.

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Doug Bullick
Camrose

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