It is not every day a regular Canadian like myself has a chance to meet a past Prime Minister. When I learned that Brian Mulroney was coming to the house, I was excited and interested. Past PM Mulroney isn’t a character without controversy, and his record in power is one that is complex. He wasn’t always a popular person. As I prepared for his visit, I read part of his autobiography. I found his story to be rooted in a strong conviction for Canada and the belief that certain things were right.
His presentation reflected this clearly. He was a compelling orator and spoke simply and clearly about the need for transformational leaders. The need for leaders to step up and take decisions that are not necessarily popular but are visionary and essential. Though he focused on leaders other than himself, sharing the story of our first Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald, his speech seemed to validate the numerous difficult and important decisions he made. Maybe best known for getting NAFTA signed and implementing the GST (which were important economic decisions but didn’t help his popularity in Canada), he also lead a strong stand against Apartheid and in getting aid to Ethiopia. He had to fight with other world leaders on this stand, but he put Canada on the world map for being a voice against oppression. Personally, I enjoyed meeting Brian Mulroney and getting to see a bit more of his strong beliefs and nuanced character.