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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 Editor 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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RE: Danielle Smith UNCENSORED speaks to three deplatformed doctors

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There is a great deal more weight and effectiveness from being polite without compromising the message.  I respect that.  Danielle Smith and Dr. Modry are great examples of excellent presenting.  

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Barry McIntyre

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