Retired Senator Lowell Murray

For five decades he has moved through the corridors of power in Parliament, from the inner circle in cabinet, to advising in the backrooms, to overseeing issues through the Senate or observing knowingly - and even alarmingly from the side. As Tory Senator Lowell Murray steps into a retirement that is only weeks old, we hear from him why he is disturbed by the politics of power on Parliament Hill.

Part Two of The Current

Retired Senator Lowell Murray

As we watch our MPs return to Parliament Hill on Monday - you might want to think about what you don't know about the politics of Parliament Hill. Our next guest has some insights on that front. Lowell Murray was a senator for so long that when he entered the red chamber there was still a Progressive Conservative Party. In fact, he remained one of only two senators who kept the Progressive in front of the Conservative for the entire 32 years that he sat in the Senate, even as the party changed and changed its name.

Murray retired last month at age 75. His political career began in 1961, as executive assistant to Davey Fulton, the justice minister in Tory Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's cabinet. He had a ringside seat as parliament passed Medicare and the Canada Pension Plan. It wasn't all success -- as the Federal-Provincial relations minister under Brian Mulroney, he watched the failure of the Meech Lake accord which would have seen Quebec endorse the Constitution.

Lowell Murray has happily flown under the radar in recent years. His send-off from the Senate was without ceremony, and he declined all requests for interviews in the weeks leading up to retirement. But today former Senator Lowell Murray joined us from Ottawa.

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