Former Mulroney Chief of Staff passes away

Stanley Hartt, who served as former prime minister Brian Mulroney's chief of staff from 1989-1990, has died of cancer in Toronto at the age of 80.

In a statement, Mulroney says he is deeply saddened by Hartt's death, calling him one of the "most outstanding public servants of our country."

Mulroney describes Hartt as having an "extremely brilliant mind with a delightful sense of humour" and a remarkable capacity to analyze complex issues and produce policy options.

Prior to joining Mulroney's office, Hartt served as deputy finance minister under former finance minister Michael Wilson and was a key figure in the negotiations that led to the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hartt had spent the last five years as a lawyer with the Toronto-based law firm of Norton Rose Fulbright.

He also served as chairman at such companies as Campeau Corp., Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd., and Citigroup Global Markets Canada Inc.

"I will always remember Stanley as a warm and highly valued friend of some 50 years," said Mulroney.

"Stanley played an important role in all the major initiatives of our government, from free trade to the GST, from Meech Lake to the movement to free Nelson Mandela."