QUEBEC — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney joined Erin O'Toole on the campaign trail in Quebec, comparing the Conservative leader's preceding months to the lead-up to his 1984 election win for the Progressive Conservatives.
The 82-year-old who governed Canada from that year until 1993 walked onto a stage Wednesday evening before an audience of supporters in Orford, Que., as they chanted his name.
He told the crowd of more than 100 a story of getting a call from O'Toole about five months earlier where the Conservative leader explained pollsters were predicting he would lose, there was negative media coverage and there was restlessness within the party.
“I said, ‘Erin, I think you should be thrilled … because that’s exactly what they said about me three months before the election in ‘84 when we won the largest majority in the history of Canada,'" Mulroney said.
Mulroney drew similarities between himself and O'Toole, saying they both married up and were lawyers.
The former prime minister said O'Toole offers strong, steady and visionary leadership, and will have to tackle ending the COVID-19 pandemic and reviving an "anemic" economy.
Mulroney said he's not interested in attacking anyone in the campaign and was there because he believes in electing O'Toole.
The appearance of the former prime minister comes one day after Jean Chrétien, who was in power from 1993 to 2003, campaigned for Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in Ontario.
Earlier in the day, O'Toole pitched the Tories as being renewed and more focused on more progressive policies, such as tackling climate change.
"We're not your dad's Conservative Party anymore," he said.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 15, 2021.
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press