CBC Digital Archives

The House: Mulroney vs. Turner, and the debut of CSIS

CBC Radio's The House keeps tabs on the nation's business from Parliament Hill. Launched in 1977, this hour-long Saturday morning program examines public policy and the politics of governing. It remains one of CBC Radio's flagship current affairs programs. The CBC Digital Archives highlights programs from the 1984 season — the year Canada had three prime ministers. It was a year that saw the last days of Pierre Trudeau in Ottawa, John Turner's brief moment of glory, and the rise of Brian Mulroney's Progressive Conservative juggernaut.

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A joke on the campaign plane about patronage has Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney backtracking and apologizing just a week into the 1984 election campaign. But as The House looks in on all the campaigns, it finds that overall the Tories seem much more organized than the Liberals. Also in this episode: The House talks to Liberal Marc Lalonde about his decision to get out of public life, and looks at the first week of the brand new Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
• There is a certain irony in this clip given the outcome of the election. Just four days after this apology from Progressive Conservative leader Brian Mulroney, he hammered Liberal Prime Minister John Turner on the issue of patronage in an exchange that many say won the election for the Tories. To view the famous clash, please visit the CBC Digital Archive clip "Mulroney attacks Turner in 1984 election debate".

• Mulroney's Tories won the largest majority government in Canadian history on Sept. 4, 1984. It would be the start of nine years with back-to-back majority governments for the Conservatives, before they went down to the worst defeat in Canadian political history. Mulroney served 8 ½ years as prime minister. After he stepped down, the PCs nominated Kim Campbell as leader. In June 1993 she became the first female prime minister of Canada.

• For more on Prime Minister Brian Mulroney's years before and after holding the top job, please visit the CBC Digital Archives topic Brian Mulroney: The Negotiator.

Medium: Radio
Program: The House
Broadcast Date: July 21, 1984
Guest(s): Norm Atkins, Nick Auf der Maur, Dr. John Bennett, Alan Borovoy, Ed Broadbent, Gerald Caplan, Tony Clark, Sheila Copps, Ted Finn, Royce Firth, Steve Krashinsky, Marc Lalonde, Bill Lee, Brian Mulroney, Harry Near, Jack Ostrovsky, Rod Sykes, John Turner, Jack Volrich
Announcer: Bob Oxley
Host: Denise Rudnicki
Reporter: Brian Kelleher, Ken McCreath, Stephen Boissoneault
Duration: 47:36

Last updated: May 21, 2013

Page consulted on February 9, 2015

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