Lowell Murray

Lowell Murray, politician, senator (born 26 September 1936 in New Waterford, NS).

Lowell Murray, politician, senator (born 26 September 1936 in New Waterford, NS). A master of the political backrooms, Murray was educated at St Francis Xavier and Queen's universities. He was chief of staff to Justice Minister E. Davie Fulton, to Senator Wallace McCutcheon and to Conservative Leader Robert Stanfield, and then served as Premier Richard Hatfield's deputy minister in New Brunswick. A longtime friend and close ally of Joe Clark, Murray served as the Progressive Conservative Party's national campaign chair from 1977 to 1979 and 1981 to 1983, and Clark made him a senator in 1979.

After Brian Mulroney took the leadership, Murray successfully made the transition, and as minister of state for federal-provincial relations served as Ottawa's chief negotiator to the provincial capitals. Much of the credit for the Meech Lake Accord of 1987 belongs to his patient preparatory work (see Meech Lake Accord: Document). He became Leader of the Government in the Senate 30 June 1986 and was chief negotiator to the provincial capitals until 1991. Again his early work led to a constitutional agreement — the ill-fated Charlottetown Accord (see Charlottetown Accord: Document).

Murray's even demeanor and thoughtful partisanship earned him the respect of friend and foe alike, and his performance as a senator serves to illustrate the value of the institution. In 2005, St Francis Xavier University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. In 2012, Murray received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Queen’s University and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Cape Breton University.


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