Don Mazankowski

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The Right Honourable
Don Mazankowski
Member of Parliament
In office
25 June 1968 – 25 October 1993
Preceded by Frank Fane
Succeeded by Leon Benoit
Constituency Vegreville
Personal details
Born Donald Frank Mazankowski
(1935-07-27) July 27, 1935 (age 80)
Viking, Alberta
Political party Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
Residence Calgary, Alberta
Profession businessman, consultant, politician

Donald Frank "Don" Mazankowski, PC CC AOE (born July 27, 1935) is a Canadian politician who served as a cabinet minister under Prime Ministers Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. He was also Deputy Prime Minister under Mulroney. He is currently a consultant with the law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP. He also serves as a director or trustee for a number of companies, including Weyerhaeuser Co., ATCO Ltd., Shaw Communications Inc., and Power Corporation of Canada.

Life and career[edit]

Mazankowski was born in Viking, Alberta to parents of Polish descent. He went into business and became the manager of an auto dealership. Long interested in politics, Mazankowski became an important member of the Albertan Progressive Conservative Party, and in the 1968 federal election, he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Vegreville, Alberta.

During the short-lived Clark government, Mazankowski served as Minister of Transport.[1] When the Tories returned to power under Mulroney in the 1984 election, Mazankowski again became Minister of Transport.[2] In 1986, he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister and Government House Leader.[3] Mazankowski became one of the most widely known public faces of the Tory government. He played an especially important role as an advocate for the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Mulroney government became increasingly unpopular, however, but Mazankowski was less severely affected than others. In 1991, he became Finance Minister, replacing Michael Wilson.

Mazankowski retired from politics on June 7, 1993.[4] When Kim Campbell succeeded Mulroney as PC leader and prime minister two weeks later, Mazankowski was replaced as Finance Minister by Gilles Loiselle. Mazankowski did not run in the 1993 election that saw his party reduced to two seats in the House of Commons. Mazankowski returned to the private sector, and served on the boards of several organizations, including the University of Alberta. He declined an offer of a Senate seat made by Brian Mulroney in his final days as Prime Minister.[4]

He has remained involved in politics. In 2002, he headed an investigation in Alberta's health care system.[5] He also played an important role in the merger between the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance party,[6] and is a strong supporter of the new Conservative Party of Canada.


Mazankowski is one of the few Canadians to be given the title of "The Right Honourable" without having held an office that would entitle him to it automatically.[7] In 2000, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and he was promoted to Companion in 2013.[8] He was awarded the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2003.[9]


  1. ^ "The Clark Cabinet". The Globe and Mail. 5 June 1979. 
  2. ^ "40-member cabinet includes 23 first-time ministers". The Globe and Mail. 18 September 1984. 
  3. ^ "Mulroney fires 4 ministers in mid-term cabinet shuffle". The Globe and Mail. 1 July 1986. 
  4. ^ a b "Retiring Mazankowski rejects Mulroney's offer of Senate seat". The Globe and Mail. 8 June 1993. 
  5. ^ "Mazankowski report prescribes health care changes". CBC News. 9 January 2002. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Secret talks held to unite the right". CBC News. 18 September 2003. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Canadian Heritage: Titles". Table of titles to be used in Canada (as revised on June 18, 1993). Government of Canada. 10 September 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Governor General Announces 90 New Appointments to the Order of Canada". December 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Lieutenant Governor announces Alberta Order of Excellence inductees". Government of Alberta. 9 October 2003. Retrieved 4 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

24th Ministry – Cabinet of Brian Mulroney
Cabinet Posts (6)
Predecessor Office Successor
Erik Nielsen Deputy Prime Minister of Canada
Jean Charest
Michael Wilson Minister of Finance
Gilles Loiselle
Ray Hnatyshyn President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada
Joe Clark
John Wise Minister of Agriculture
Bill McKnight
Robert de Cotret President of the Treasury Board
Pat Carney
Lloyd Axworthy Minister of Transport
second time
John Crosbie
Special Parliamentary Responsibilities
Predecessor Title Successor
Ray Hnatyshyn Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Doug Lewis
21st Ministry – Cabinet of Joe Clark
Cabinet Post (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Otto Lang Minister of Transport
first time
Jean-Luc Pépin