Something within Me

A Personal and Political Memoir

By (author) Michael Wilson
Foreword by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney
Categories: Psychology, Society and Social Sciences
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Paperback : 9781487544386, 352 pages, May 2022

Table of contents

Foreword by the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney


1. Finding My Way Home
2. Lessons in Life, Home and Abroad
3. Dollars, Discretion, and Life on the Farm
4. The Power of a Challenging Question
5. Who Will Lead the Way?
6. A Platform on Four Pillars
7. Tearing Down Tariff Walls
8. NAFTA Tales
9. Journeys and Revelations
10. Brian, Mick, and Me
11. Back to Business
12. Cameron
13. Embassy Life
14. Security and Personalities
15. The Platinum Years


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States Free Trade Agreement – one of Canada’s most important economic agreements in the last 50 years, later superseded by NAFTA.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.


"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."

- David Frum