Flags on Central Okanagan schools at half-mast to honour Mulroney

Flags going to half-mast

Flags at all schools in the Central Okanagan will be lowered to half mast in honour of the passing of former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.

The school district said in statement flags are to be flown at half-mast from now until sunset on the day of Mulroney's funeral (date to be determined) on all British Columbia government buildings across the province.

A family spokesman says Mulroney died surrounded by his family in a Palm Beach hospital, where he'd been since a recent fall.

News of his death prompted a flood of respect and remembrance, both in political circles and beyond.

Mulroney, a charismatic and compelling leader with convictions as deep as his trademark languid baritone, led the country as the leader of the Progressive Conservatives from 1984 until 1993.

He reinvented cross-border relations thanks to a close friendship with then-U.S. president Ronald Reagan, a relationship that helped usher in the era of continental free trade and bilateral environmental treaties.

For many, Mulroney will always be the prime minister who introduced the Goods and Services Tax — a bold and necessary move, he insisted, but one that came with lasting political damage.

He had no fear of trying "controversial things," said former prime minister Jean Chrétien, including twice trying unsuccessfully to amend the Constitution with the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords.

"In politics, opposition is opposition," Chrétien said. "It's like playing hockey. You can fight on the ice and have a beer together after that. And we had a lot of things in common."

with files from The Canadian Press

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