M. Brian Mulroney, PC, CC, LLD (The Right Honourable)
Norton Rose Fulbright Canada LLP
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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), the Canada-U.S. Acid Rain Treaty and the Canada-U.S. Arctic Cooperation Agreement. Prime Minister Mulroney's government also introduced a wave 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.
In an important attempt to include Quebec in Canada's amended constitution, Prime Minister Mulroney was the architect of the Meech Lake Accord. His government also created the new federal territory of Nunavut, stretching across vast spaces of the Canadian Arctic.
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, the reunification of Germany and the first Gulf War.
Mr. Mulroney was born in Baie Comeau, Quebec, in 1939, to Benedict Mulroney and Irene O'Shea, one of six children. His father 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 inc. (Montreal), and serves as a director of The Blackstone Group L.P. (New York) and Acreage Holdings Inc. (New York).
He also serves as Chairman of the International Advisory Board of Barrick Gold Corporation (Toronto).
He is a Strategic Advisor to Teneo Holdings (New York).
Mr. Mulroney is also a Trustee of the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation and the International Advisory Board of Hautes Études Commerciales (HEC) Montréal.
Mr. Mulroney has been awarded Canada's highest honour, Companion of the Order of Canada, and the highest honor of the Government of Quebec, Grand officier de l'Ordre national du Québec.
Mr. Mulroney was presented with the Global Citizen Award by the United Nations Association in Canada .
Mr. Mulroney has received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service and the Christian A. Herter Memorial Award for his leadership that contributed to "better international understanding."
In 2018, Mr. Mulroney was honored to receive the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service.
In 2019, he also received the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership at Rice University in Houston.
Mr. Mulroney delivered a eulogy at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan at the National Cathedral in Washington (2004) and one for President George H.W. Bush in the same venue (2018) becoming the first non-American in history to be so honored.
Mr. Mulroney was also invited to deliver a eulogy at the funeral of First Lady Nancy Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, California (2016).
Mr. Mulroney was invited by the Duke of Marlborough to deliver the Memorial Lecture at Blenheim Palace, Sir Winston Churchill's birthplace, on the 50th anniversary of Mr. Churchill's death (2015).
In 1986, Prime Minister Mulroney became the first Canadian Prime Minister invited to address the Japanese Diet (Parliament) and in 1988, he became one of only two Prime Ministers in Canadian history invited to address a Joint Session of the United States Congress.
In 2018, pursuant to a bipartisan invitation received from the Committee Chairman and Ranking Member, Mr. Mulroney became the first former prime minister to appear before the Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States Senate for a major presentation on NAFTA and international trade.
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 at home and around the world.
In 1989, Prime Minister Mulroney received the International Environment Bureau Award for "outstanding and responsible leadership on both global and national environmental policies and issues."
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 voted Mr. Mulroney as "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 2007, Mr. Mulroney was honored by the Barreau du Québec (the Quebec Bar) with the title of Avocat Émérite in recognition of "the positive and exceptional outcome of his social engagements in different communities in Canada and around the world."
In 2009, Mr. Mulroney became the first recipient of the Sakura Award for his leadership in resolving the Canadian human rights challenge relating to the forced evacuation and internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. As Prime Minister, he offered an apology in the House of Commons and provided compensation for those families affected while creating a large compensation fund for the community.
In 2009, a survey conducted by The Hill Times selected Mr. Mulroney as "the most admired" former Prime Minister of Canada.
In 2012, Mr. Mulroney was elected to the Horatio Alger Association of America and was subsequently elected to its Board of Directors and has become Vice President of the Board for the Canadian Association.
In 2012, he was also honored by his hometown by becoming the first person admitted to the Ordre de Baie-Comeau.
In 2013, Mr. Mulroney became a Patron of the Margaret Thatcher Scholarship Trust Founding Committee.
In 2018, Mr. Mulroney was inducted into the Canadian Disability Hall of Fame for his "extraordinary contribution to enriching the quality of life for Canadians with physical disabilities." The same year he was elected Chairman of the Board of Dunham House, a charitable organization that provides care and assistance for people with mental health challenges and addiction.
In 2019, Mr. Mulroney was awarded the Canadian Club of Toronto Lifetime Achievement Award for his "visionary leadership and high achievements" for Canada.
In September 2019, St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia inaugurated the Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, a one hundred million dollar initiative designed to provide undergraduates – sustained by a large scholarship program – with degrees in public policy and government.
In October 2019, Global Canada and the Canadian International Council presented Prime Minister Mulroney with the Global Leadership Award, recognizing him as "the Canadian political leader with the greatest international impact in the last 50 years."
In November 2019, Prime Minister Mulroney received the Environmental Leadership Award from Pollution Probe at its 50th Anniversary gathering in Toronto "in recognition of [your] astounding contributions to environmental protection and sustainability in Canada."
In 2020, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society presented Prime Minister Mulroney with its Gold Medal, the Society's highest honor, recognizing "the remarkable legacy of the change to the map of Canada through the creation of the Territory of Nunavut, together with [your] outstanding environmental legacy."
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.
LL.B., Université Laval, 1964
B.A., St. Francis Xavier University, 1959
- Quebec 1965
- Order of the Companions of O.R. Tambo of South Africa
- Companion, Order of Canada
- Grand Officer, Ordre national du Québec
- “The most admired former Prime Minister of Canada,” according to a survey conducted by the Hill Times (2009)
- “The Greenest Prime Minister in history,” according to a panel of Canada’s leading environmental groups (2006)
- “The second most accomplished Prime Minister of the previous 50 years,” according to the Institute for Research on Public Policy (2003)
- “The best economic record of any Prime Minister since the Second World War,” according to the McGill University North American Studies Institute (2000)
- Médaille du Barreau du Québec
- Advocatus Emeritus
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of Western Ontario
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Université Laval
- Founder’s Award, Fraser Institute (2007)
- Honorary Doctor of Laws, Boston College
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, awarded by Japan
- ’Order of Kniaz’ (King) Yaroslav the Wise of the First Class, awarded by Ukraine
- Honorary degrees and awards from universities and governments at home and abroad
- Barrick Gold Corporation
- Wyndham Worldwide Corporation
- The Blackstone Group L.P.
- Independent News and Media, PLC
- Quebecor Inc.
- Chairman, International Advisory Board, Barrick Gold Corporation
- Member, International Advisory Board, Independent News and Media, PLC
- Quebecor Media Inc.
- Said Holdings Limited
- International Advisory Group, Lion Capital LLP
- Montreal Heart Institute Foundation
- International Advisory Council, HEC Montréal
- Council on Foreign Relations
© Norton Rose Fulbright LLP 2021