The Fraser Institute is holding a gala dinner in Montreal tonight to present former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney with the T.P. Boyle Founder’s Award.
This award, according to the Institute's webs site, is presented annually to recognize "excellence and accomplishment in the promotion of economic freedom and free market ideas. Past recipients include Lady Margaret Thatcher, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, and the late Milton Friedman."
Now certainly Thatcher, Klaus and Friedman all deserve this award, but Mulroney?
Yes, I know he enacted the Free Trade Agreement and curbed some of the excesses of the previous Trudeau regime, but it's a real stretch to suggest he promoted economic freedom or free market ideas.
If anything, Mulroney was a classic Red Tory - more than willing to use socialist economic policies if he believed they would further his political career.
And let's not forget his unconservative pandering of Quebec nationalists, which simultaneously resulted in the emergence of the Reform Party in Western Canada and of the Bloc Quebecois in Quebec.
He was also the guy who introduced an election gag law and who appointed socialists to government posts.
So yeah, give him an award for implementing the free trade agreement if you want, but don't do so on the basis that he was some sort of free market champion.