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'That was then': Mulroney on his role helping Trudeau, despite rivalry with dad - The Globe and Mail
ALEXANDER PANETTA
WASHINGTON — The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, Apr. 05, 2017

“The name that kept coming up again and again was Prime Minister Mulroney’s,” said one person involved in the Nov. 9 talks.

“Almost everybody we called with even a tangential relationship with Trump said Mulroney was the guy to talk to.”

Mulroney has since had several phone chats with the prime minister, that source said. He’s also volunteered in three ways: establishing connections, offering advice, and conveying one country’s perspective to the other.

For example, the source said, if the Americans were upset about trade deficits, Mulroney might point out to Ross how the deficit with Canada was a non-issue — largely attributable to swings in oil prices beyond any government’s control.

Mulroney wasn’t the only bridge-builder: Chrystia Freeland set up the initial meetings in New York between the Trudeau and Trump teams.

He credits everyone for making the most of these new connections.

“I can tell you I’ve heard from two leaders of the American administration... telling me the Canadians... were the best and the nicest people the Americans were able to deal with anyone around the world,” he said....
Mulroney is equally laudatory of the opposition’s behaviour: he says Rona Ambrose and the Conservatives have lowered the partisan temperature on a critical issue of national interest, and sent a letter offering help wherever possible.

“This is a national challenge,” Mulroney said.

“If we were ever to lose NAFTA you’d see grave challenges in Canadian society. So in something like this there’s not a Conservative, or a Liberal way to look at this. There’s only a Canadian way.”

He said that example of Canadians sticking together got noticed in Washington. In comparison, U.S. politics has been riven by partisanship even on touchy international matters, like the handling of Russian meddling in the last U.S. election.

This spurt of bipartisanship also contrasts with another important national moment, which Mulroney recalls with sadness: the effort to reach permanent constitutional peace with Quebec.
relationships  crossborder  politicians  Brian_Mulroney  political_capital  nonpartisan  Justin_Trudeau  NAFTA  advice  bridge-builders  Communicating_&_Connecting  national_unity  Conservative_Party 
april 2017 by jerryking

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