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article imageTories vs Grits: Mulroney Attacks Foe Trudeau in Memoirs

By Nathalie Caron     Sep 7, 2007 in Politics
Canada - Over twenty years after being prime minister, progressive conservative Brian Mulroney attacks liberal icon and foe, PM Pierre Trudeau, in his memoirs to be released on September 10th. Liberal leader Stephane Dion calls comments cheap shots.
Former PM Brian Mulroney (1984-1993) has been all over Canadian media during the past week, promoting his memoirs to be released next Monday. Sneak-peek passages reveal Mulroney's animosity towards his predecessor Liberal PM Pierre Trudeau (1968-79/1980-84).
Mulroney's memoirs, from which Sun Media has published excerpts, spend some time criticizing political foe Trudeau, notably calling him a coward for not taking part in WWII, despite his ability.
Mulroney writes:
"One million young Canadians and Newfoundlanders, sensing the danger to our fundamental human values, signed up and shipped off to do battle with a vile and powerful enemy.
Pierre Trudeau was not among them. Although in his mid-20s, well educated, well informed, and in excellent health, he declined to serve."
He slams Trudeau for his lukewarm stance on the conflict and also frames Trudeau as having a pendant for fascism.
"Although much of the free world, including Canada, recognized the destructive and criminal nature of the Nazi war machine, Trudeau did not.
[...] Young Trudeau wrote and acted in an anti-Semitic play, spoke strongly in favour of fascism, stated that England and Germany were equally responsible for the war, and urged Quebecers to resist conscription and to prepare to ethnically cleanse the province if need be, to ensure the creation of a pure French Catholic state."
Mulroney also told CTV:
"This is a man who questioned the Allies, and when the Jews were being sacrificed, and when the great extermination program was on, he was marching around Outremont on the other side of the issue."
When he left Parliament in 1993, Mulroney had become one of the most berated prime ministers in Canadian history. "He has always seemed irked that the late Trudeau, who retired as Liberal prime minister in 1984, is accorded more respect and admiration by Canadians in opinion polls," states a Canoe report.
Defending Trudeau
Current Liberal opposition leader Stephane Dion has publicly defended Trudeau from Mulroney's attacks. Dion said in a statement:
"It is regrettable that, after attending Prime Minister Trudeau’s funeral and praising him as “an exceptional individual who served his country effectively and well … a gallant political warrior who loved his country,” Mr. Mulroney would seem to be at such odds with his own views,"
Dion also urges Mulroney to recognize Trudeau's contribution to the country's history, which make him an icon to many Canadians.
"Adversary or not, one cannot ignore Mr. Trudeau's contributions to Canada. In bringing us the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Prime Minister Trudeau ensured that the human rights of all our citizens would be protected."
Former senior secretary to Trudeau, Tom Axworthy also commented on the memoirs, finding Mulroney's attacks pitiful, writes a Canadian Press report.
"I just think it's sad that this former prime minister (Mulroney) is still so consumed by his predecessor that he's spending time attacking a man who's dead rather than talking about his own accomplishments. I'm sorry that he still obviously feels so threatened by the achievements of Trudeau."
Pierre Trudeau passed away September 28, 2000, succumbing to cancer.
More about Conservatives liberals, Trudeau, Mulroney
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