Reflections on the Legacy of Brian Mulroney: A Mentorship Journey That Changed My Life

By Lara Watson, Host & Executive Producer of 100 Huntley Street

Canadians across the country are mourning the death of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, one of Canada’s most celebrated statesmen, and I am grieving the loss of a mentor who recognized my God-given potential to positively impact the world, long before I did.

I remember the evening I first met Mr. Mulroney like it was yesterday. It was August 16, 2004, and my husband Jeff and I were celebrating our 1st wedding anniversary. We were heading into a lovely restaurant at the Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto and as we ventured into this historic building, we noticed a man of historic proportions exiting.

“Excuse me sir, are you Brian Mulroney?” My awestruck husband blurted out.

Mr. Mulroney’s Irish eyes twinkled with delight as he smiled at us, and in his signature deeply warm voice he replied, “Yes, I am. And who are you?”

Jeff and I shared about ourselves and after a heartfelt congratulations on our anniversary, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Canada’s 18th prime minister, who served for two terms from 1984-1993, steering Canada through unprecedented tumultuous periods in national and world affairs, was gone.

I awoke to the news confirming Mr. Mulroney’s passing. His daughter, Caroline Mulroney, announced that he passed away on February 29, 2024, at the age of 84, surrounded by loved ones. As followers of Jesus, we find solace in the understanding that this life is not the end.

“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A
time to be born, And a time to die.”


Mr. Mulroney served in a very important season in our world, in Canadian history, and in my life.

It has been 20 years since that very special night that I met Mr. Mulroney, an experience that would go on to change my life; connecting me to my God-given potential, to David Mainse, to 100 Huntley Street and to Crossroads.

Our beloved Crossroads founder, the Rev. David Mainse once wrote of Brian Mulroney, “I want to commend highly our former Prime Minister of Canada, the RT. Hon. Brian Mulroney, for taking the strongest stand of any world leader for doing what was right in South Africa prior to Mandela’s release from prison, and after. God bless you former Canadian P.M. I’m proud of you!”

The positive regard between David and Brian was mutual. After David’s passing in 2017 at age 81, a significant void was left in Canadian faith and public life, and Mr. Mulroney wrote this in response, “David Mainse contributed mightily to the well-being of this nation. His qualities of tolerance inspired our youth; his sense of decency warmed our national spirit; and his exemplary personal life and compassionate outlook contributed to the strength of our citizenship.”

David and Brian had a very positive regard for one another and a special connection, and I know this, not just because what they wrote about each other, but because both men personally told me about their bond.

You see, on that divinely ordained night that I ran into Mr. Mulroney, my always inspired husband suggested that I write a letter to our former Prime Minister expressing my aspirations to change the world; how my radical meeting with Jesus at age 17 had given me a purpose in life, how I had pinned Luke 4:18-19 to my bedroom door as a teenager knowing it was God’s call for my life to bring the justice, love and compassion of God’s kingdom to bear on Canada, and finally, how my Master of Arts in Theology and Ethics was just a means to figure out how to change the world for Christ! So, I wrote this all down, on a restaurant postcard, signed both my name and my husband’s name, and we brought it to the front desk on a whim that perhaps Mr. Mulroney would later return to the premises. My husband did some very solid negotiating with the concierge, who never confirmed nor denied what he would do with the letter.

One week later my cell phone rang, and I heard that one-of-a-kind voice yet again. “Lara, this is Brian Mulroney.” My jaw dropped, my heart leapt, and I, for once, was at a loss for words. Mr. Mulroney had received my letter, said it moved him, and then he offered to mentor me if I wanted to go into politics. He said he would call me when he was in Toronto again so we could begin the mentoring process.

I quickly tried to figure out how to be ready to meet Mr. Mulroney and receive mentoring from him. A meeting with Brian Stiller, the one-time President of Tyndale College, led to a phone call with a man who had been shaping my spiritual life, unbeknownst to him, since I was a little girl watching 100 Huntley Street. The Rev. David Mainse, took a phone meeting with me to help me navigate being mentored by a former Prime Minister. As David spoke with me, he shared about the times he met Mr. Mulroney, the respect and admiration he felt towards him, and how God had used this Prime Minister mightily to better Canada. David listened to my testimony and my heart to bring social justice and God’s kingdom principles to bear on Canada, and in return, he shared his hard-won wisdom and passion for the gospel. David ended the call, as only David could, with a charge for me to live out God’s calling on my life, an invitation to get involved with Crossroads, and to keep him posted on all the Holy Spirit would do!

One month later, at Mr. Mulroney’s request, my dear husband dropped me to the tearoom at the Royal York hotel for my first mentoring session. I wore a white silk jacket with pearls, hoping to make a great first impression. I saw Mr. Mulroney waiting for me at a quaint table, and when I walked over to him, he greeted me like a long-lost granddaughter. I felt at home, safe, cared for, and seen.

Mr. Mulroney ordered a black Earl Grey tea, and I followed suit. I shared my personal life story, and he shared his very openly. We talked about God, and faith… a lot. Mr. Mulroney was a man of solid faith in God who believed in the power of prayer. He shared how David Mainse had played a key role in his life during a particularly challenging season. The admiration Mr. Mulroney showed for David had no bounds.

Mr. Mulroney told me that he was most known for establishing free trade, but what he was most proud of, in terms of his political accomplishments, was his work against apartheid and creating laws to protect the environment and women. Mr. Mulroney, introduced me to the people who approached us as though I was a colleague to be esteemed, and when these passerby would respond with officiality towards me, Mr. Mulroney would give me a wink and a smile because we both knew the truth; I was just a humble divinity school kid on a quest to find my place in the world!

Sitting with Mr. Mulroney that day, I felt the weight of my self-imposed limitations, stemming from personal hardships, lifting. New possibilities began to flood my heart, igniting a belief that God could truly use me to contribute to Canada’s journey towards becoming a godly nation.

Mr. Mulroney gave me some very good advice I now live by; live with temperance, don’t waste your time criticizing others instead of helping the world, and know that every small decision you make impacts the life you will actually come to live. Mr. Mulroney also suggested I get a law degree, and to get involved in local politics. I took heed to the latter for a short time, but after a lot of prayer I began to see that, at this stage in my life, the biggest impact I could have on Canada, would be sharing the Gospel and serving in ministry.

Today, my advice to the next generation is this,

“If you change a heart, you change a nation.”

Lara watson

I believe that both Mr. Mulroney and David Mainse, understood this principle to the core.

Although my time under the mentorship of the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney and the Rev. David Mainse was brief, it profoundly impacted my heart. Today, I am honored to serve alongside the Crossroads family. Through programs like 100 Huntley Street, we share the Gospel with Canadians daily, bringing biblical values to life within communities nationwide and beyond, and fulfilling God’s intended vision for Canada.

If you’re struggling with grief or seeking answers about eternity, our compassionate Prayer Partners are available to listen and support you. Call anytime, anywhere, 1-866-273-4444