After Brian Mulroney took the leadership, Murray successfully made the transition, and as minister of state for federal-provincial relations served as Ottawa's chief negotiator to the provincial capitals. Much of the credit for the MEECH LAKE ACCORD of 1987 belongs to his patient preparatory work (see MEECH LAKE ACCORD: DOCUMENT). He became Leader of the Government in the Senate 30 June 1986 and chief negotiator to the provincial capitals until 1991. Again his early work led to a constitutional agreement - the ill-fated CHARLOTTETOWN ACCORD (see CHARLOTTETOWN ACCORD: DOCUMENT). Murray's even demeanor and thoughtful partisanship earned him the respect of friend and foe alike, and his performance as a senator serves to illustrate the value of the institution. In 2005 ST FRANCIS XAVIER UNIVERSITY awarded him a honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
Author J.L. GRANATSTEIN