Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney dead at 84

    Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (Photo: Library of Parliament/House of Commons)

    Mulroney's first deputy prime minister, Erik Nielsen, held the highest cabinet position by a Yukoner in Canadian history.

    Former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney has died at the age of 84. Mulroney was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada, and held office from 1984 to 1993.

    Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon released a statement offering his condolences to Mulroney’s family on Friday morning. Dixon’s statement called Mulroney a friend to the Yukon, saying that his government had provided many investments to the territory, including Erik Nielson Whitehorse International Airport.

    Erik Nielson, the airport’s namesake, served as Mulroney’s deputy prime minister from 1984 to 1986. Nielson held the highest cabinet position by a Yukoner in Canada’s history.

    Early Friday afternoon, Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai issued a statement on Mulroney’s death, noting achievements including the North American Free Trade Agreement and opposing apartheid in South Africa. Pillai also made mention of Mulroney’s commitment to the land claims process, as the Umbrella Final Agreement was signed while he was prime minister.

    Speaking with media in Sudbury, Ontario on Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Mulroney will receive the proper respect fitting a former prime minister.

    “I can confirm that, obviously, there will be a full state funeral for the former prime minister,” said Trudeau on Friday. “We are working with the family closely to ensure that all of their wishes are respected, and that it be the right and fitting tribute to him.”

    Trudeau also told reporters that there will also be opportunities for Canadians to share their tributes to the former P-M in the coming weeks.

    While Mulroney was in office, his government passed Bill C-31 into law. The bill was an amendment to the Indian Act with the goals of addressing gender discrimination, restoring Indian status to those who had been forcibly enfranchised, and allowing bands to control their own band membership as a step towards self-government.

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