Monday, May 16, 2005

 

Mulroney Denies Knowing Morselli

Is there more to former Prime Minister Mulroney's illness than his family is letting on? The following article explores this in some detail, but also mentions a press release issued Friday on Mulroney's behalf saying: "The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney categorically denies (knowing Joe Morselli)." The quote which the former Conservative Prime Minister took issue with had been published in the Globe and Mail.

The Montreal Gazette May 15, 2005

Brian Mulroney's wife sounded upbeat yesterday about her husband's health, more than seven weeks after the 66-year-old former prime minister fell ill from pancreatitis.
"He's at home and he's recovering quite quickly," Mila Mulroney told a reporter through an intercom at the doorstep of their Westmount home. "It'll be another couple of weeks."
Luc Lavoie, a spokesperson for the family, said Mulroney "is doing much better than a week ago."
"He's recuperating. It's been a tough period. He will be okay, but he won't be socially active for a while to come."
Meanwhile, two longtime friends and a former member of Parliament, who spoke to The Gazette on condition their names not be used, all said they found it very unusual that they've been told they cannot visit or talk to Mulroney over the phone.
What's more, a Montreal doctor who has treated many patients for pancreatitis said Mulroney's slow convalescence is far from the norm.
Mulroney had undergone a three-hour operation at St. Luc Hospital on March 15 to remove lesions from a lung. The lesions were benign, Lavoie said. The problem was discovered in early March during a checkup.
During his post-operative recovery, Mulroney developed pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas. He was released from hospital on April 21.
Mulroney's children - Caroline, Ben, Mark and Nicolas - have been in town to visit their father in the hospital and at home. Two cars were parked outside his house yesterday.
Another colleague of Mulroney's said he's concerned about him, especially since he hasn't been in contact with him. "He's conspicuous by his absence," the friend said.

Still, Mulroney managed on Friday to issue a media release through Lavoie intended for reporters covering the Gomery inquiry. Mulroney took issue with a quote by federal Liberal organizer Joe Morselli in the Globe and Mail, saying: "I was a good friend of Brian Mulroney."
"The Right Honourable Brian Mulroney categorically denies this statement," the statement read.


(Morselli is at the centre of allegations of a parallel fundraising network in the Liberal Party that received envelopes stuffed with cash from ad firms.)

Mulroney was Progressive Conservative prime minister from September 1984 to June 1993. He is a lawyer with the firm Ogilvy Renault.
The Montreal doctor who's knowledgeable about pancreatitis said most people recover from the inflammation after about two days in hospital.
The doctor noted that Mulroney spent more than a month in the hospital - highly unusual for someone with pancreatitis.
"Think of how many things we hospitalize patients for that require they stay in hospital for more than a month," the doctor said. "Not many."
He suggested that Mulroney probably developed severe pancreatitis, and it didn't help matters that he was recovering from lung surgery. Officials with the Centre hospitalier de l'universite de Montreal refused yesterday to comment on Mulroney's case, saying all patient files must be kept confidential.

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