Hey, Isn't This the Same Guy Who Sold Us Into Neoliberal Servitude?


It's easy to remember Brian Mulroney for his environmentalism, his principled stand against Apartheid South Africa, the fight against acid rain and restoring the ozone layer. That has to be tempered with the rampant corruption within his administration, how he almost wrecked our nation with the Meech Lake and Charlatan Accords, and how he joined with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher in selling us down the Rio Neoliberal that, over the span of 40 years, has launched the 'gig economy' and brought much of the world to near ruin.

Taking the pluses and the minuses, I think he's better forgotten than revered, especially when he calls for 'fresh thinking and daring leadership.'

“We have just gone through an election that has proved to be of little import or consequence,” Mulroney said in prepared remarks given at Montreal’s Mount Royal Club on Monday night.

“We now live in a world where the events of the moment signal unrelenting pressures of instability, where the U.S. inclination and capacity to assert global leadership is on the wane and where the principles of multilateralism so helpful for the last half of the last century are now under assault,” he said.

So far, okay.

“The most daunting challenge facing the world today is global warming,” Mulroney’s speech said. “If global warming is not arrested, climate change, with its horrific effects, will be irreversible. Now is not the time to imprison ourselves in ideological arguments. Now is the time for us to test the outer limits of what we can achieve for future generations.”

A bit vague there. It's as though somebody asked him what happened to the Airbus money. But then there's the kicker.  

“We should commit over time to dramatically increasing our population to 75-100 million by attracting significantly more immigrants on the one hand, and by lessening the costs to young families who wish to have children but are burdened by steep costs, including childcare fees.”

There's your problem. We just need to double our population. Perpetual exponential growth. Is that before or after we vanquish this global warming business?

I know, I know. Let's cut the guy a little slack. He's 82 after all. That's four years older than Joe Biden. It's just that Lyin' Brian's brain trust, his notions of visionary leadership while he was in power, proved to be pretty awful in the decades that followed.

Besides when he puts in an appearance these days he has that look like he's trying to remember where he parked the car.


  1. The new Premier of Nova Scotia advocated doubling the population during the recent election campaign. He said it would double provincial income with no apparent understanding that spending on schools, hospitals, water and sewer services etc.etc.etc. would also have to double. Maybe conservatives are all drinking a weird kind of bottled water.

    1. It's certainly popular with Liberals and Conservatives alike, Rumley. More workers, more consumers, bigger GDP and tax base. As you point out, however, that omits other factors including infrastructure, which in Canada and most developed nations, is beginning to fall apart and fail.

      Remember, it was Justin who wanted to open a raft of new immigration offices across China. That, of course, was before Beijing started taking Canadians hostage.

      Mulroney's ideas are out of date but they're what he's learned from decades past. He is right about the urgency of climate change but he doesn't seem to have any idea what to do about it. The Liberals are better but they're also a decade or two behind today's reality and I don't see them catching up in the limited time remaining to avert serious climate impacts. Few governments today retain the agility and speed to stay ahead of these things.


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