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What were Canada's key political developments during Mulroney's leadership?

Under Mulroney's leadership, Canada saw the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Free Trade Agreement with the US, and the Meech Lake Accord.

Brian Mulroney, who served as the Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1993, led the country through a period of significant political change. One of the most notable developments was the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 1991. This was a value-added tax levied on most goods and services sold for domestic consumption. The GST was controversial, as it was seen by many as a regressive tax that disproportionately affected lower-income Canadians. However, Mulroney argued that it was necessary to reduce the federal deficit and improve the country's economic competitiveness.

Another key development was the negotiation of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States in 1988. This was a landmark deal that eliminated many tariffs and trade barriers between the two countries, paving the way for the later North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The FTA was a central issue in the 1988 election, with Mulroney's Progressive Conservative Party arguing that it would boost Canada's economy, while opponents feared it would lead to job losses and a loss of Canadian sovereignty.

Mulroney also attempted to address longstanding tensions between English and French-speaking Canadians through the Meech Lake Accord in 1987. This was a proposed amendment to the Canadian Constitution that would have recognised Quebec as a "distinct society" and given it more power over immigration and other matters. However, the Accord was not ratified by all provinces, leading to its failure and a resurgence of separatist sentiment in Quebec.

Furthermore, Mulroney's government introduced significant changes to Canada's immigration policy, shifting the focus towards economic immigrants and away from family reunification. This was a controversial move that was criticised by some as being discriminatory, but it was defended by the government as a necessary step to ensure Canada's economic competitiveness.

Overall, Mulroney's leadership was marked by significant political developments that continue to shape Canada's economy, society, and national identity. His tenure was characterised by bold, often controversial, policy decisions that sought to address some of the country's most pressing issues.

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