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Biography & Autobiography Personal Memoirs

Something within Me

A Personal and Political Memoir

by (author) Michael Wilson

foreword by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
May 2022
Personal Memoirs, General, Canadian, Mental Health, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jan 2022
    List Price

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The late Honourable Michael Wilson was a Canadian politician and business professional. As Minister of Finance under Brian Mulroney, Wilson was one of the key negotiators of the Canada-United States Free Trade Agreement – one of Canada’s most important economic agreements in the last 50 years, later superseded by NAFTA. In addition, Wilson was responsible for implementing the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST), which remains key to the federal government today. After his life in Parliament, Wilson served as Ambassador to the United States and Chancellor of the University of Toronto.


Outside of politics, Wilson was active in raising awareness of mental health issues following the traumatic loss of his son, Cameron, to suicide. Devoting considerable time to advocacy, he established the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies at the University of Toronto and served as Board Chair for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.


Something within Me highlights how Wilson’s personal life blended with his political life and accomplishments, detailing his advocacy for mental health awareness as well his involvement in important pieces of legislation that made significant impacts in Canadian political and economic history. These deeply personal stories, particularly those of a father grappling with his son’s illness and death, remind us of the lives behind the political personas that shape our world.

About the authors

Michael Wilson was a Canadian businessman, politician, diplomat, and mental health advocate. As an investment banker, he held senior roles at Royal Bank of Canada, UBS Canada, and Barclays Capital Canada. He was a Member of Parliament from 1979 to 1993, serving as Minister of Finance and Minister of International Trade under Brian Mulroney. He also served as Canadian Ambassador to the United States and Chancellor of the University of Toronto, where he established the Cameron Parker Holcombe Wilson Chair in Depression Studies. He was a member and chair of numerous boards, including Board Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Michael Wilson's profile page

Brian Mulroney is a lawyer and politician who was the Prime Minister of Canada from 1983 to 1993.

the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Few public officials in Canadian history wrought more fundamental change than Michael Wilson – all while dealing with overwhelming family pressures and tragedies. In his life, Wilson often joked about his inhibitions and lack of charisma. Now at last he has been freed to speak full and from the heart."

<em>The Atlantic</em>

"A fascinating, illuminating read."

<em>Literary Review of Canada</em>