Who is Brian Mulroney, one of the eulogy speakers at George H.W. Bush’s funeral on Dec. 5? Here are five important things to know about the former prime minister of Canada, who had a special bond with the 41st POTUS.
Brian Mulroney, 79, will deliver the eulogy at George H.W. Bush’s funeral at Washington National Cathedral on Dec. 5. The 41st president of the United States had personally invited Mulroney to speak at his service three years ago, before eventually passing away at the age of 94 on Nov. 30. George’s relationship with the former prime minister of Canada spans many milestones, so here is everything you should know about the man who’ll take the podium tomorrow!
1. Mulroney was Canada’s 18th prime minister. He served in office from Sept. 17, 1984 to June 25, 1993. Four of those years intersected with Bush’s run as the United States’ commander in chief, which spanned from 1989 to 1993. That gave them ample opportunities to work together, which Mulroney has touched on.
2. The former Canadian PM called Bush’s legacy in Canada one of “the greatest in modern history.” Mulroney credited Bush for enabling “two major events in the history of Canada” in a recent interview. One of those landmarks was signing the Canada-U.S. Air Quality Agreement in 1991, which reduced acid rain in Canada. Mulroney couldn’t sway President Ronald Reagan to address the problem until he worked with Bush, who took action right away. “For 25 years, acid rain was a major problem,” Mulroney said. “It’s not mentioned anymore because the problem’s been solved.” He also commended Bush for agreeing to turn the United States’ “previous bilateral pact [the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement] with Canada into a three-country deal,” which included Mexico.
3. Mulroney was not just a professional relation, but a friend of Bush’s. He would visit Bush’s retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine to go on fishing expeditions, according to The Globe and Mail. His last time seeing Bush was at the very same retreat in Maine, just this past September!
4. He accepted the George Bush Award for Excellence in Public Service in September 2018. Mulroney recalled that Bush wasn’t well enough to watch him accept the award at the Maine ceremony, so he delivered his acceptance speech a second time at Bush’s retreat, according to the Vancouver Courier.
5. He’s delivered the eulogies at the funerals of another United States president and former first lady. He spoke at President Reagan’s funeral in 2004, and then at Nancy Reagan’s service in 2016.