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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Former prime minister Mulroney not taking sides on 30th anniversary of 1st election

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. - Brian Mulroney appeared to be in good health on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his first election as prime minister.

He won the largest majority government in Canadian history on Sept. 4, 1984.

Mulroney did not want to talk politics when he was approached Wednesday by The Canadian Press.

However, he did offer a brief comment about the next election when asked his thoughts about Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

"Well, I think it's going to be an interesting race with Mr. (Tom) Mulcair and Mr. (Stephen) Harper and Mr. Trudeau," he said. "They're all pretty tough competitors so it should be pretty good."

The former prime minister, who is 75, was diagnosed with diabetes in September 2010 after suffering from fatigue.

"I'm doing much better," he said. "I've got the diabetes under control and everything else seems to be coming along well."

Mulroney made the comments when he arrived to attend the TVA network's launch as the main French hockey broadcaster beginning this season. The former prime minister is the chairman of Quebecor, the media company that owns TVA.

During his speech, Mulroney, who was born in Baie Comeau, Que., recalled that as a youth he played hockey as a "right-winger" and once told his late father that he was interested in playing Junior B hockey.

His father's response was that there was no money in sports and that he should get a good education.

"If he were alive today, I'd take him by the hand and say 'Dad let me introduce you to P.K. Subban'," Mulroney joked.

Subban and the Montreal Canadiens recently reached an agreement on a contract worth US$72-million over eight years.

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