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The Right Honourable
 Stephen Joseph Harper 
PC, MP, MA


Incumbent
Assumed office 
February 6, 2006
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Michaëlle Jean
Preceded by Paul Martin

In office
May 21, 2002 – January 8, 2004
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Jean Chretien
Paul Martin
Preceded by John Reynolds (interim)
Succeeded by Grant Hill (interim)
In office
March 20, 2004 – February 5, 2006
Monarch Elizabeth II
Prime Minister Paul Martin
Preceded by Grant Hill (interim)
Succeeded by Bill Graham (interim)

Incumbent
Assumed office 
June 28, 2002
Preceded by Preston Manning

In office
1993 – 1997
Preceded by James Hawkes
Succeeded by Rob Anders

Born April 30, 1959 (1959-04-30) (age 50)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth name Stephen Joseph Harper
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
(2003–present)
Other political
affiliations
Young Liberals
(c. 1974 – early 1980s)
Progressive Conservative
(1985–1986)
Reform
(1987–1997)
Canadian Alliance
(2002–2003)
Spouse(s) Laureen Harper
Children Benjamin and Rachel
Residence 24 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario (Official)

Calgary, Alberta (Private)

Alma mater University of Calgary
Occupation Economist
Religion Evangelical (Christian and Missionary Alliance)
Signature
Website Prime Minister of Canada

Stephen Joseph Harper, PC, MP (born April 30, 1959) is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada, and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became Prime Minister after his party won a minority government in the 2006 federal election. He is the first Prime Minister from the newly reconstituted Conservative Party, following a merger of the Progressive Conservative and Canadian Alliance parties.

Harper has been the Member of Parliament (MP) for the riding of Calgary Southwest in Alberta since 2002. Earlier, from 1993 to 1997, he was the MP for Calgary West. He was one of the founding members of the Reform Party, but ended his first stint as an MP to join, and shortly thereafter head, the National Citizens Coalition. In 2002, he succeeded Stockwell Day as leader of the Canadian Alliance (the successor to the Reform Party) and returned to Parliament as Leader of the Opposition. In 2003, he reached an agreement with Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay for the merger of their two parties to form the Conservative Party of Canada. He was elected as the party's first non-interim leader in March 2004.

Harper's Conservative Party won a stronger minority in the October 2008 federal election, showing a small increase in the percentage of the popular vote (but a small decrease in the actual popular vote) and increased representation in the Canadian House of Commons with 143 of 308 seats.[1]

Contents

Early life

Harper was born in Toronto, the first of three sons of Margaret (née Johnston) and Joseph Harris Harper, an accountant at Imperial Oil.[2] He attended Northlea Public School, while living at 332 Bessborough Avenue in Leaside. Later, while living at 57 Princess Anne Crescent, he attended John G. Althouse Middle School and Richview Collegiate Institute, both in Central Etobicoke. He graduated in 1978, at the top of his class with a 95.7% average, and was a member of Richview Collegiate's team on Reach for the Top, a television quiz show for Canadian high school students.[3] Harper then enrolled at the University of Toronto but dropped out after two months. He then moved to Edmonton, Alberta, where he found work in the mail room at Imperial Oil.[4] Later, he would advance to work on the company's computer systems. He took up post-secondary studies again at the University of Calgary, where he completed a Bachelor's degree in economics. He later returned there to earn a Master's degree in economics, completed in 1993. Harper has kept strong links to the University of Calgary, and often guest-lectured there. He is the first prime minister since Lester B. Pearson not to have attended law school.

Political beginnings

Harper became involved in politics as a member of his high school's Young Liberals Club.[5] He later changed his political allegiance because he disagreed with the National Energy Program (NEP) of Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government.[6] He became chief aide to Progressive Conservative MP Jim Hawkes in 1985, but later became disillusioned with both the party and the government of Brian Mulroney, especially the administration's fiscal policy[5] and its inability to fully revoke the NEP until 1986. He left the PC Party that same year.[7]

He was then recommended by the University of Calgary's economist Bob Mansell to Preston Manning, the founder and leader of the Reform Party of Canada. Manning invited him to participate in the party, and Harper gave a speech at Reform's 1987 founding convention in Winnipeg. He became the Reform Party's Chief Policy Officer, and he played a major role in drafting the 1988 election platform. He is credited with creating Reform's campaign slogan, "The West wants in!"[8]

Harper ran for the Canadian House of Commons in the 1988 federal election, appearing on the ballot as Steve Harper in Calgary West. He lost by a wide margin to Hawkes, his former employer. The Reform Party did not win any seats in this election, although party candidate Deborah Grey was elected as the party's first MP in a by-election shortly thereafter. Harper became Grey's executive assistant, and was her chief adviser and speechwriter until 1993.[9] He remained prominent in the Reform Party's national organization in his role as policy chief, encouraging the party to expand beyond its Western base and arguing that strictly regional parties were at risk of being taken over by radical elements.[10] He delivered a speech at the Reform Party's 1991 national convention, in which he condemned extremist views.[11]

Harper's relationship with Manning became strained in 1992, due to conflicting strategies over the Charlottetown Accord. Harper opposed the Accord on principle for ideological reasons, while Manning was initially more open to compromise. Harper also criticized Manning's decision to hire Rick Anderson as an adviser, believing that Anderson was not sufficiently committed to the Reform Party's principles.[12] He resigned as policy chief in October 1992.

Harper stood for office again in the 1993 federal election, and defeated Jim Hawkes amid a significant Reform breakthrough in Western Canada. His campaign likely benefited from a $50,000 print and television campaign organized by the National Citizens Coalition against Hawkes, although the NCC did not endorse Harper directly.[13]

Reform MP

Harper emerged a prominent member of the Reform Party of Canada caucus, and earned respect even from political opponents for his intellect and ideological commitment. Author Mordecai Richler once described him as the "one MP of substance" in the party.[14]

Harper was active on constitutional issues during his first term in parliament, and played a prominent role in drafting the Reform Party's strategy for the 1995 Quebec referendum. A long-standing opponent of centralized federalism, he stood with Preston Manning in Montreal to introduce a twenty-point plan to "decentralize and modernize" Canada in the event of a "no" victory.[15] Harper later argued that the "no" side's narrow plurality was a worst-case scenario, in that no-one had won a mandate for change.[16]

Although not associated with the Reform Party's radical wing, Harper expressed socially conservative views on some issues.[17] In 1994, he opposed plans by federal Justice Minister Allan Rock to introduce spousal benefits for same-sex couples. Citing the recent failure of a similar initiative in Ontario, he was quoted as saying, "What I hope they learn is not to get into it. There are more important social and economic issues, not to mention the unity question."[18] Harper also spoke against the possibility of the Canadian Human Rights Commission or the Supreme Court changing federal policy in these and other matters.[19]

At the Reform Party's 1994 policy convention, Harper was part of a small minority of delegates who voted against restricting the definition of marriage to "the union of one man and one woman".[20] He actually opposed both same-sex marriage and mandated benefits for same-sex couples, but argued that political parties should refrain from taking official positions on these and other "issues of conscience".[21]

Harper was the only Reform MP to vote for a bill establishing the Canadian Firearms Registry at second reading stage in 1995, although he voted against it at third reading. He made his initial decision after concluding that a majority of his constituents supported the measure, but changed his mind after deciding there was substantial opposition.[22] It was reported in April 1995 that some Progressive Conservatives opposed to Jean Charest's leadership wanted to remove both Charest and Manning, and unite the Reform and Progressive Conservative parties under Harper's leadership.[23]

Despite his prominent position in the party, Harper's relationship with the Reform Party leadership was frequently strained. In early 1994, he criticized a party decision to establish a personal expense account for Preston Manning at a time when other Reform MPs had been asked to forego parliamentary perquisites.[24] His criticism proved divisive in the party,[citation needed] and he was formally rebuked by the Reform executive council despite winning support from some MPs. His relationship with Manning grew increasingly fractious in the mid-1990s, and he pointedly declined to express any opinion on Manning's leadership during a 1996 interview.[25] This friction was indicative of a fundamental divide between the two men: Harper was strongly committed to conservative principles and opposed Manning's inclinations toward populism, which he saw as leading to compromise on core ideological matters.[26]

These tensions culminated in late 1996 when Harper announced that he would not be a candidate in the next federal election. He resigned his parliamentary seat on January 14, 1997, the same day that he was appointed as a vice-president of the National Citizens Coalition (NCC), a conservative think-tank and advocacy group.[27] He was promoted to NCC president later in the year.

In April 1997, Harper suggested that the Reform Party was drifting toward social conservatism and ignoring the principles of economic conservatism.[28] The Liberal Party lost seats but managed to retain a narrow majority government in the 1997 federal election, while Reform made only modest gains.

Out of Parliament

1997–2000

Soon after leaving parliament, Harper and Tom Flanagan co-authored an opinion piece entitled "Our Benign Dictatorship", which argued that the Liberal Party only retained power through a dysfunctional political system and a divided opposition. Harper and Flanagan argued that national conservative governments between 1917 and 1993 were founded on temporary alliances between Western populists and Quebec nationalists, and were unable to govern because of their fundamental contradictions. The authors called for an alliance of Canada's conservative parties, and suggested that meaningful political change might require electoral reforms such as proportional representation. "Our Benign Dictatorship" also commended Conrad Black's purchase of the Southam newspaper chain, arguing that his stewardship would provide for a "pluralistic" editorial view to counter the "monolithically liberal and feminist" approach of the previous management.[29]

Harper remained active in constitutional issues. He was a prominent opponent of the Calgary Declaration on national unity in late 1997, describing it as an "appeasement strategy" against Quebec nationalism. He called for federalist politicians to reject this strategy, and approach future constitutional talks from the position that "Quebec separatists are the problem and they need to be fixed".[30] In late 1999, Harper called for the federal government to establish clear rules for any future Quebec referendum on sovereignty.[31] Some have identified Harper's views as an influence on the Chrétien government's Clarity Act.[32]

As National Citizens Coalition (NCC) leader, Harper launched an ultimately unsuccessful legal battle against federal election laws restricting third-party advertising.[33] He also led the NCC in several campaigns against the Canadian Wheat Board,[34] and supported Finance Minister Paul Martin's 2000 tax cuts as a positive first step toward tax reform.[35]

In 1997, Harper delivered a controversial speech on Canadian identity to the Council for National Policy, a conservative American think tank. He made comments such as "Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it", "if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians", and "the NDP [New Democratic Party] is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men."[36] These statements were publicized and criticized during the 2006 election. Harper argued that the speech was intended as humour, and not as serious analysis.[37]

Harper considered campaigning for the Progressive Conservative Party leadership in 1998, after Jean Charest left federal politics. Among those encouraging his candidacy were senior aides to Ontario Premier Mike Harris, including Tony Clement and Tom Long.[38] He eventually decided against running, arguing that it would "burn bridges to those Reformers with whom I worked for many years" and prevent an alliance of right-wing parties from taking shape.[39] Harper was skeptical about the Reform Party's United Alternative initiative in 1999, arguing that it would serve to consolidate Manning's hold on the party leadership.[40] He also expressed concern that the UA would dilute Reform's ideological focus.[41]

2000–01

When the United Alternative created the Canadian Alliance in 2000 as a successor party to Reform, Harper predicted that Stockwell Day would defeat Preston Manning for the new party's leadership. He expressed reservations about Day's abilities, however, and accused Day of "[making] adherence to his social views a litmus test to determine whether you're in the party or not".[42] Harper endorsed Tom Long for the leadership, arguing that Long was best suited to take support from the Progressive Conservative Party.[43] When Day placed first on the first ballot, Harper said that the Canadian Alliance was shifting "more towards being a party of the religious right".[44]

After Pierre Trudeau's death in 2000, Harper wrote an editorial criticizing Trudeau's policies as they affected Western Canada. He wrote that Trudeau "embraced the fashionable causes of his time, with variable enthusiasm and differing results", but "took a pass" on the issues that "truly defined his century".[45] Harper subsequently accused Trudeau of promoting "unabashed socialism", and argued that Canadian governments between 1972 and 2002 had restricted economic growth through "state corporatism".[46]

After the Canadian Alliance's poor showing in the 2000 election, Harper joined with other Western conservatives in co-authoring a document called the "Alberta Agenda". The letter called on Alberta to reform publicly-funded health care, replace the Canada Pension Plan with a provincial plan and replace the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with a provincial police force. It became known as the "firewall letter", because it called on the provincial government to "build firewalls around Alberta" in order to stop the federal government from redistributing its wealth to less affluent regions.[47] Alberta Premier Ralph Klein agreed with some of the letter's recommendations, but distanced himself from the "firewall" comments.[48]

Harper also wrote an editorial in late 2000 arguing that Alberta and the rest of Canada were "embark[ing] on divergent and potentially hostile paths to defining their country". He said that Alberta had chosen the "best of Canada's heritage—a combination of American enterprise and individualism with the British traditions of order and co-operation" while Canada "appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country [...] led by a second-world strongman appropriately suited for the task". He also called for a "stronger and much more autonomous Alberta", while rejecting calls for separatism.[49] In the 2001 Alberta provincial election, Harper led the NCC in a "Vote Anything but Liberal" campaign.[50] Some articles from this period described him as a possible successor to Klein.[51]

Harper and the NCC endorsed a private school tax credit proposed by Ontario's Progressive Conservative government in 2001, arguing that it would "save about $7,000 for each student who does not attend a union-run public school". Education Minister Janet Ecker criticized this, saying that her government's intent was not to save money at the expense of public education.[52]

Day's leadership of the Canadian Alliance became increasingly troubled throughout the summer of 2001, as several party MPs called for his resignation. In June, the National Post newspaper reported that former Reform MP Ian McClelland was organizing a possible leadership challenge on Harper's behalf.[53] Harper announced his resignation from the NCC presidency in August 2001, to prepare a campaign.[54]

Canadian Alliance leadership

Stockwell Day called a new Canadian Alliance leadership race for 2002, and soon declared himself a candidate. Harper emerged as Day's main rival, and declared his own candidacy on December 3, 2001. He eventually won the support of at least 28 Alliance MPs,[55] including Scott Reid, James Rajotte[56] and Keith Martin.[57] During the campaign, Harper reprised his earlier warnings against an alliance with Quebec nationalists, and called for his party to become the federalist option in Quebec.[58] He argued that "the French language is not imperilled in Quebec", and opposed "special status" for the province in the Canadian Constitution accordingly.[59] He also endorsed greater provincial autonomy on Medicare, and said that he would not co-operate with the Progressive Conservatives as long as they were led by Joe Clark.[60] On social issues, Harper argued for "parental rights" to use corporal punishment against their children and supported raising the age of sexual consent.[61] He described his potential support base as "similar to what George Bush tapped".[62]

The tone of the leadership contest turned hostile in February 2002. Harper described Day's governance of the party as "amateurish",[63] while his campaign team argued that Day was attempting to win re-election by building a narrow support base among different groups in the religious right.[64] The Day campaign accused Harper of "attacking ethnic and religious minorities".[65] In early March, the two candidates had an especially fractious debate on CBC Newsworld.[66] The leadership vote was held on March 20, 2002. Harper was elected on the first ballot with 55 percent support, against 37 percent for Day. Two other candidates split the remainder.

After winning the party leadership, Harper announced his intention to run for parliament in a by-election in Calgary Southwest, recently vacated by Preston Manning. Ezra Levant had already been chosen as the riding's Alliance candidate and initially declared that he would not stand aside for Harper; he subsequently reconsidered.[67] The Liberals did not field a candidate, following a parliamentary tradition of allowing opposition leaders to enter the House of Commons unopposed. The Progressive Conservative candidate, Jim Prentice, also chose to withdraw.[68] Harper was elected without difficulty over New Democrat Bill Phipps, a former United Church moderator. Harper told a reporter during the campaign that he "despise[d]" Phipps, and declined to debate him.[69]

Harper officially became Leader of the Opposition in May 2002. Later in the same month, he said that the Atlantic Provinces were trapped in "a culture of defeat" which had to be overcome, the result of policies designed by Liberal and Progressive Conservative governments. Many Atlantic politicians condemned the remark as patronizing and insensitive. The Legislature of Nova Scotia unanimously approved a motion condemning Harper's comments,[70] which were also criticized by New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord, federal Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark and others. Harper refused to apologize, and said that much of Canada was trapped by the same "can't-do" attitude.[71]

His first 18 months as opposition leader were largely devoted towards consolidating the fractured elements of the Canadian Alliance and encouraging a union of the Canadian Alliance and the federal Progressive Conservatives[citation needed]. The aim of this union was to present only one right-of-center national party in the next federal election. In undertaking the merger talks, PC leader Peter MacKay reversed his previous agreement with leadership opponent David Orchard not to merge with the Alliance. After reaching an agreement with MacKay in October 2003, the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada officially merged in December, with the new party being named the "Conservative Party of Canada".[72]

Harper is reported to have attended the 2003 meeting of the Bilderberg Group.[73]

In March 2003 Harper and Stockwell Day co-wrote a letter to The Wall Street Journal in which they condemned the Canadian government's unwillingness to participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.[74]

Conservative Party of Canada leadership

On January 12, 2004, Harper announced his resignation as Leader of the Opposition, in order to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. Harper was elected the first leader of the Conservative Party, with a first ballot majority against Belinda Stronach and Tony Clement on March 20, 2004. Harper's victory included strong showings in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada.

2004 federal election

Harper led the Conservatives into the 2004 federal election. Initially, new Prime Minister Paul Martin held a large lead in polls, but this eroded due to infighting, Adscam and other scandals surrounding his government. The Liberals attempted to counter this with an early election call, as this would give the Conservatives less time to consolidate their merger.

Martin's weak performance in the leader's debate, along with an unpopular provincial budget by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty in Ontario, moved the Conservatives into a lead for a time. However, comments by Conservative MPs, leaked press releases slandering the then Prime Minister, as well as controversial TV attack ads suggesting that the Conservatives would make Canada more like the United States, caused Harper's party to lose some momentum.

Harper made an effort to appeal to voters in Quebec, a province where the Reform/Alliance side of the merged party hadn't done well. He was featured in several of the Tories' French-language campaign ads.

The Liberals were re-elected to power with a minority government, with the Conservatives coming in second place. The Conservatives managed to make inroads into the Liberals' Ontario stronghold, primarily in the province's socially conservative central region. However, they were shut out of Quebec, marking the first time that a centre-right party did not win any seats in that province. Harper, after some personal deliberation, decided to stay on as the party leader. Many credited him with bringing the Progressive Conservative Party and Canadian Alliance together in a short time to fight a close election.

Harper as Conservative leader and Leader of the Opposition

The Conservative Party's first policy convention was held from March 17–19, 2005, in Montreal. Harper had been rumoured to be shifting his ideology closer to that of a Blue Tory, and many thought he'd wanted to move the party's policies closer to the centre. Any opposition to abortion or bilingualism was dropped from the Conservative platform. Harper received an 84% endorsement from delegates in the leadership review.

Despite the party's move to the centre, the party began a concerted drive against same-sex marriage. Harper was criticized by a group of law professors for arguing that the government could override the provincial court rulings on same-sex marriage without using the "notwithstanding clause", a provision of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It also argued, in general, for lower taxes, an elected Senate, a tougher stance on crime, and closer relations with the United States.

Following the April 2005 release of Jean Brault's damaging testimony at the Gomery Inquiry, implicating the Liberals in the scandal, opinion polls placed the Conservatives ahead of Liberals. The Conservatives had earlier abstained from the vote on the 2005 budget to avoid forcing an election. With the collapse in Liberal support and a controversial NDP amendment to the budget, the party exerted significant pressure on Harper to bring down the government. In May, Harper announced that the government had lost the "moral authority to govern". Shortly thereafter, the Conservatives and Bloc Québécois united to defeat the government on a vote that some considered to be either a confidence motion or else a motion requiring an immediate test of the confidence of the House. The Martin government did not accept this interpretation and argued that vote had been on a procedural motion, although they also indicated that they would bring forward their revised budget for a confidence vote the following week. Ultimately, the effort to bring down the Government failed following the decision of Conservative MP Belinda Stronach to cross the floor to the Liberal Party. The vote on the NDP amendment to the budget tied, and with the Speaker of the House voting to continue debate, the Liberals stayed in power. At the time, some considered the matter to be a constitutional crisis.[75][76]

Harper was also criticized for supporting his caucus colleague MP Gurmant Grewal.[77] Grewal had produced tapes of conversations with Tim Murphy, Paul Martin's chief of staff, in which Grewal claimed he had been offered a cabinet position in exchange for his defection. Some experts analyzed the tapes and concluded that a digital copy of the tapes had been edited.

Stephen Harper gives a victory speech to party faithful in Calgary after his Conservatives won the 2006 federal election.

The Liberals' support dropped after the first report from the Gomery Inquiry was issued. On November 24, 2005, Harper introduced a motion of no confidence on the Liberal government, telling the House of Commons "that this government has lost the confidence of the House of Commons and needs to be removed." As the Liberals had lost NDP support in the house by refusing to accept an NDP plan to prevent health care privatization, the no confidence motion was passed by a vote of 171–133. It was the first time that a Canadian government had been toppled by a straight motion of no confidence proposed by the opposition. As a result, Parliament was dissolved and a general election was scheduled for January 23, 2006.

On February 27, 2008, allegations surfaced that two Conservative Party officials offered terminally ill, Independent MP Chuck Cadman a million-dollar life insurance policy in exchange for his vote to bring down the Liberal government in a May 2005 budget vote.[78] If the story had proven true, the actions may have been grounds for charges as a criminal offence since, under the Criminal Code of Canada, it is illegal to bribe an MP.[79]

When asked by Vancouver journalist Tom Zytaruk about the alleged life insurance offer then-opposition leader Stephen Harper states on an audio tape "I don't know the details. I know there were discussions"[80] and goes on to say "The offer to Chuck was that it was only to replace financial considerations he might lose due to an election".[80] Mr Harper also states that he had told the Conservative party representatives that they were unlikely to succeed. "I told them they were wasting their time. I said Chuck had made up his mind".[80][81]

In February 2008 the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) investigated the allegations that Section 119's provisions on bribery and corruption in the Criminal Code had been violated.[82][83] The RCMP have concluded their investigation stating that there is no evidence for pressing charges.[84]

Prime Minister Harper has denied any wrongdoing and subsequently filed a civil libel suit against the Liberal Party of Canada. While such actions could not be initiated for statements made in the House of Commons, where libel laws do not apply, statements made by Liberal party members outside the House and in articles which appeared on the Liberal party web site made accusations that Mr Harper had committed a criminal act. It is for these statements the Prime Minister filed suit.[81][85]

The audio expert hired by Harper to prove that the tape containing the evidence was doctored reported that the latter part of the tape was recorded over, but the tape was unaltered where Harper's voice said "I don't know the details, I know that, um, there were discussions, um, but this is not for publication?" and goes on to say he "didn't know the details" when asked if he knew anything about the alleged offer to Cadman.[86]

2006 federal election

The Conservatives began the campaign period with a policy-per-day strategy, contrary to the Liberal plan of holding off major announcements until after the Christmas holidays, so Harper dominated media coverage for the first weeks of the election. Though his party showed only modest movement in the polls, Harper's personal numbers, which had always significantly trailed those of his party, began to rise.

In response, the Liberals launched negative ads targeting Harper, similar to their attacks in the 2004 election. However, their tactics were not sufficient to erode the Conservative's advantage, although they did manage to close what had been a ten point advantage in public opinion. As Harper's personal numbers rose, polls found he was now considered not only more trustworthy, but a better choice for Prime Minister than Martin.[87]

Immediately prior to the Christmas break, in a faxed letter to NDP candidate Judy Wasylycia-Leis, the Commissioner of the RCMP, Giuliano Zaccardelli announced the RCMP had opened a criminal investigation into her complaint that it appeared Liberal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale's office had leaked information leading to insider trading before making an important announcement on the taxation of income trusts. On December 27, 2005, the RCMP confirmed that information in a press release. At the conclusion of the investigation, Serge Nadeau, a top Finance Department bureaucrat, was charged with criminal breach of trust. No charges were laid against then Finance Minister Ralph Goodale.[88]

The election gave Harper's Conservatives the largest number of seats in the House, although not enough for a majority government, and shortly after midnight on January 24, Martin conceded defeat. Later that day, Martin informed Governor General Michaëlle Jean that he would resign as Prime Minister, and at 6:45 p.m. Jean asked Harper to form a government. Harper was sworn in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister on February 6, 2006. In his first address to parliament as head of government, Harper opened by paying tribute to the Queen and her "lifelong dedication to duty and self-sacrifice," referring to her specifically as Canada's head of state.[89] and said before the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce that Canada and the United Kingdom were joined by "the golden circle of the Crown, which links us all together with the majestic past that takes us back to the Tudors, the Plantagenets, the Magna Carta, habeas corpus, petition of rights, and English common law." [90] Jouralist Graham Fraser said in the Toronto Star that Harper's speech was "one of the most monarchist speeches a Canadian prime minister has given since John Diefenbaker."[91]

Prime Minister of Canada

Domestic

Stephen Harper (left) seated with Mirza Masroor Ahmad (right) at the grand opening of the largest mosque in Canada, Baitun Nur, in Calgary, on July 5, 2008

Unlike his recent predecessors, Harper did not name one of his colleagues to the largely honorific post of Deputy Prime Minister. Various observers had expected him to name MacKay, the former leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and his deputy party leader, or Lawrence Cannon, as a Quebec lieutenant, to the post. Harper did, however, name an order of succession to act on his behalf in certain circumstances, starting with Cannon, then Jim Prentice, then the balance of his cabinet in order of precedence.

Harper has indicated a desire to turn the Canadian Senate into an elected rather than an appointed body, often referred to as a Triple-E Senate, an objective previously proposed by the former Reform Party of Canada.[citation needed] On September 7, 2006, Harper became the first Canadian Prime Minister to appear before a Senate committee as he presented his government's case for Senate reform. In his first term in office Harper made only one appointment to the Senate. This resulted in 16 senate vacancies by the time he won his first re-election in October 2008.[92]

The one exception to this policy was Michael Fortier. When Harper first took office he appointed Michael Fortier to both the Senate and the Cabinet, arguing the government needed representation from the city of Montreal.[93] Although there is a precedent for this action in the Westminster system, the appointment led to criticism from opponents who claimed Harper was reneging on his push for an elected senate. In 2008 Mr Fortier gave up his senate seat and sought election as a Member of Parliament but was defeated by a large margin by the incumbent Bloc Québécois MP.[94] Upon re-election in 2008, Harper named Senate reform again as a priority.[92] On December 11, 2008, the Toronto Star reported that Harper "plans to fill every empty Senate seat [(18 seats)] by the end of the year to kill any chance of a Liberal-NDP coalition government filling the vacancies next year..."[95][96] On Dec 22, 2008, the Globe and Mail reported that "Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed Monday (Dec 22, 2008) that he is filling all 18 current [Senate] vacancies." [97]

After sidestepping the political landmine for most of the first year of his time as prime minister, much as all the post-Charlottetown Accord prime ministers had done, Harper's hand was forced to reopen the Quebec sovereignty debate after the opposition Bloc Québécois were to introduce a motion in the House that called for recognition of Quebec as a "nation." On November 22, 2006, Harper introduced his own motion to recognize that "the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada."[98] Five days later, Harper's motion passed, with a margin of 266-16; all federalist parties, as well as the Bloc Québécois, were formally behind it.[99]

Harper has insisted on his right to choose who asks questions at press conferences,[100] which has caused the national media to lodge complaints.[101] Some have alleged that the Prime Minister's Office also "often informs the media about Harper's trips at such short notice that it's impossible for Ottawa journalists to attend the events".[102] Harper's director of communications has denied this, saying that "this prime minister has been more accessible, gives greater media scrums and provides deeper content than any prime minister has in the last 10 to 12 years". Some suggest that the Conservatives' then recent electoral success could be credited to their control of the campaign message, a practice that they continued when they became the government.[103]

Foreign

Afghanistan

On March 11 and March 12, 2006, Harper made a surprise trip to Afghanistan, where Canadian Forces personnel have been deployed as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force since late 2001, to visit troops in theatre as a show of support for their efforts, and as a demonstration of the government's commitment to reconstruction and stability in the region. Harper's choice of a first foreign visit was closely guarded from the press until his arrival in Afghanistan (citing security concerns), and is seen as marking a significant change in relationship between the government and the military. While other foreign leaders have visited Afghanistan, Harper's trip was touted as unprecedented in its length and scope.[citation needed] Harper returned to Afghanistan on May 22, 2007, in a surprise two-day visit which included visiting Canadian troops at the forward operating base at Ma'Sum Ghar, located 25 kilometres (16 mi) south of Kandahar, making Harper the first Prime Minister to have visited the front lines of a combat operation.[104]

Israel/Palestine

At the outset of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Harper defended Israel's "right to defend itself" and described its military campaign in Lebanon as a "measured" response, arguing that Hezbollah's release of kidnapped IDF soldiers would be the key to ending the conflict.[105] Some Canadians, including many Arab-Canadians, criticized Harper's description of the Israeli response as "measured". On July 17, 2006, Harper noted that the situation had deteriorated since his initial comments, but that it was difficult for Israel to fight "non-governmental forces" embedded in the civilian population. Harper reiterated his earlier support for Israel and called on both sides to show restraint and minimize civilian casualties.

Speaking of the situation in both Lebanon and Gaza on July 18, Harper told reporters "We all want to encourage not just a ceasefire, but a resolution. And a resolution will only be achieved when everyone gets to the table and everyone admits... recognition of each other," referring to the refusal of Hezbollah and Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist. Harper laid the blame for the civilian deaths on both sides at the feet of Hezbollah. "Hezbollah's objective is violence," Harper asserted, "Hezbollah believes that through violence it can create, it can bring about the destruction of Israel. Violence will not bring about the destruction of Israel... and inevitably the result of the violence will be the deaths primarily of innocent people."[106]

Award from the the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

In December 2008, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations presented Stephen Harper, and his government as a whole, with its inaugural International Leadership Award for his support for Israel. Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the conference, stated that the award was given to express the group's appreciation for Canada's "courageous stands" to boycott the Durban II anti-racism conference. He also praised Canada's "support for Israel and [its] efforts at the U.N. against incitement and ... the delegitimization [of Israel], where they have taken a role in the forefront."[107]

Statements on the 2008 Mumbai attacks

In March 2009, Harper spoke at a Parliament Hill ceremony organized by Chabad-Lubavitch to honor the Jewish victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which included an attack on the Nariman House. He expressed condolences over the murder at Chabad's Mumbai center of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. Harper described the killings as "affronts to the values that unite all civilized people." Harper added that the quick installment of a new rabbi at the Chabad center in Mumbai as a signal that the Jewish people will "never bow to violence and hatred."[108]

Free Trade with EFTA

On June 7, 2007, the Conservative government announced it had finalized free trade negotiations with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Under this agreement, Canada seeks to increase its trade ties with Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In 2006, the value of trade between these partners was $10.7 billion. Canada had originally begun negotiations with the EFTA on October 9, 1998, but talks broke down due to a disagreement over subsidies to shipyards in Atlantic Canada.[109]

Former U.S. President George W. Bush, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and Stephen Harper, right, at the Chichen-Itza archaeological ruins in 2006

Australia

On September 11, 2007, Harper became the first Canadian Prime Minister to address the Parliament of Australia.[110]

Relations with leaders of the United States

Shortly after being congratulated by George W. Bush for his victory, Harper rebuked U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins for criticizing the Conservatives' plans to assert Canada's sovereignty over the Arctic Ocean waters with armed forces.[111] Harper's first meeting as Prime Minister with the U.S. President occurred at the end of March 2006. The Harper Government received American news coverage during the Democratic Party's 2008 presidential primaries after the details of a conversation between Barack Obama's economic advisor Austan Goolsbee, and Canadian diplomat Georges Rioux were revealed. Reportedly Goolsbee was reassuring the Canadians that Obama's comments on potentially renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) were more political rhetoric than actual policy. The accuracy of these reports has been debated by both the Obama campaign and the Canadian Government. The news came at a key time nearing the Ohio and Texas primaries where, perceptions among Democratic voters is that the benefits of the NAFTA agreement are dubious. Thus the appearance that Obama was not being completely forthright was attacked by his opponent Hillary Clinton.[112] ABC News reported that Harper's Chief of Staff, Ian Brodie was responsible for the details reaching the hands of the media.[113] Harper has denied that Brodie was responsible for the leak, and launched an investigation to find the source. The Opposition, as well as Democratic strategist Bob Shrum,[114] criticized the Government on the issue, stating they were trying to help the Republicans by helping Hillary Clinton win the Democratic nomination instead of Obama. They also alleged the leak would hurt relations with the United States if Obama ever were to become President.[115] Obama was elected President in November. In February, Obama made his first foreign visit, as president, to Ottawa, in which he affirmed support for free trade with Canada, as well as complimenting Canada on its involvement in Afghanistan.[116]

United States President Barack Obama meets with Stephen Harper in Ottawa.

2008 federal election

On October 14, 2008, after a 5 week long campaign, Stephen Harper won a new mandate as Prime Minister of Canada and increased the number of Conservative members of Parliament to 143 MPs up from 127 MPs at the dissolution of the previous Canadian parliament; however his actual popular vote among Canadians dropped slightly by 167,494 votes. As a result of the lowest voter turnout in Canadian electoral history, this represented only 22% of eligible Canadian voters, the lowest level of support of any Prime Minister in Canadian history[117]. Meanwhile, the number of opposition Liberal MPs fell from 95 to 77 seats. It takes 155 MPs to form a majority government in Canada's 308 seat Parliament.

2008 Parliamentary dispute and prorogation

On December 4, 2008, Harper asked Governor General Michaëlle Jean to prorogue Parliament in order to avoid a vote of confidence scheduled for the following Monday, becoming the first Canadian PM ever to do so.[118][119] The request was granted by Jean, and the prorogation lasted until January 26, 2009. The opposition coalition dissolved shortly after, with the Conservatives winning a Liberal supported confidence vote on January 29, 2009.

2010 prorogation

On December 30, 2009, Harper announced that he would request the Governor-General prorogue Parliament again, effective immediately on December 30, 2009, during the 2010 Winter Olympics and lasting until March 3, 2010. Harper stated that this was necessary for Canada's economic plan. Jean would grant the request. In an interview with CBC News, Prince Edward Island Liberal member of parliament Wayne Easter accused the Prime Minister of "shutting democracy down".[120][121] Tom Flanagan, Harper's University of Calgary mentor and former Chief of Staff, also questioned Harper's reasoning for prorogation, stating that "I think the government's talking points haven't been entirely credible" and that the government's explanation of proroguing was "skirting the real issue -- which is the harm the opposition parties are trying to do to the Canadian Forces" regarding the Canadian Afghan detainee issue.[122] The second prorogation in a year also received some international criticism as being undemocratic.[123] Demonstrations took place on January 23 in 64 Canadian cities and towns, and five cities in other countries.[124] The protests attracted over twenty thousand participants, many who had joined a group on Facebook.[125]

Senate appointments

Harper did fill five vacancies in the Senate of Canada with appointments of new Conservative senators, on January 29, 2010. The Senators filled vacancies in Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick, as well as two vacancies in Ontario. The new senators were Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, of Quebec, Bob Runciman, of Ontario, Vim Kochhar, of Ontario, Elizabeth Marshall of Newfoundland and Labrador and Rose-May Poirier, of New Brunswick.

This did change the party standings in the Senate, which was dominated by Liberals, this changed the party standings in the Senate to 51 Conservatives, 49 Liberals, and five others. [126].[127]

Supreme Court appointments

Harper chose the following jurists to be appointed as justices of the Supreme Court of Canada by the Governor General:

Justice Rothstein

In keeping with Harper's election promise to change the appointment process, Rothstein's appointment involved a review by a parliamentary committee, following his nomination by the Prime Minister. Rothstein had already been short-listed, with two other candidates, by a committee convened by Paul Martin's previous Liberal government, and he was Harper's choice. Harper then had Rothstein appear before an 'ad hoc', non-partisan committee of 12 Members of Parliament. This committee was not empowered to block the appointment, though, as had been called for by some members of Harper's Conservative Party.[128]

Justice Cromwell

On September 5, 2008, Harper nominated Justice Cromwell of Nova Scotia Court of Appeal to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the departure of Justice Michel Bastarache. By and large Cromwell's nomination has been well received, with many lauding the selection,[129][130] however dissent has been noted surrounding the nomination. First, Harper bypassed Parliament's Supreme Court selection panel which was supposed to produce a list of three candidates for him to chose from.[129] Second, Newfoundland Justice Minister Jerome Kennedy criticized the appointment, citing the Newfoundland government's belief that constitutional convention stipulates that a Newfoundlander should have been named to the Court in the rotation of Atlantic Canadian Supreme Court representation.[131]

Honours

Harper received the Woodrow Wilson Award on October 6, 2006, for his public service in Calgary. It was held at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, the same place where he made his victory speech.[132]

Time magazine named him as Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in 2006. Stephen Handelman wrote "that the prime minister who was once dismissed as a doctrinaire backroom tactician with no experience in government has emerged as a warrior in power."[133]

On June 27, 2008, Harper was awarded the Presidential Gold Medallion for Humanitarianism by B'nai B'rith International. He is the first Canadian to be awarded this medal.[134]

Personal life

Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaking at 2009 Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Harper married Laureen Teskey in 1993. They have two children: Benjamin, born in 1996, and Rachel, born in 1999. He is the third Prime Minister, after Pierre Trudeau and John Turner, to send his children to Rockcliffe Park Public School, in Ottawa. He is a member of the evangelical Christian and Missionary Alliance and attends church at the East Gate Alliance Church in Ottawa.[135]

Harper is an avid fan of ice hockey and has been a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs since his days as a child growing up in Leaside and then Etobicoke communities in the City of Toronto. Harper is working on a book of the history of hockey and writes articles occasionally on the subject.[136]

Harper has ventured into the arena of sports broadcasting. During the TSN broadcast of the Canada–Russia final of the World Junior Hockey Championships, Harper appeared in an interview and expressed several views on the state of hockey today. Among his comments was his preference for an overtime period in lieu of a shoot-out.[137][138] In February 2010, Harper interviewed former NHL hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe for a Saskatoon Kinsmen Club charity event.[139]

Harper taped a cameo appearance in an episode of the television show Corner Gas which was aired in spring 2007.[140] Harper reportedly owns a large vinyl record collection and is an avid fan of The Beatles and AC/DC.[141] In October 2009, Harper joined Yo-Yo Ma on stage in a National Arts Centre gala and performed "With a Little Help from My Friends". Harper was also accompanied by Herringbone, an Ottawa band with whom he regularly practices.[142] The Prime Minister received a standing ovation after providing the piano accompaniment and lead vocals for the song.[143]

Harper stands 1.88 metres (6′2″) tall.[144]

Electoral record

2008 federal election : Calgary Southwest edit
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Conservative (x)Stephen Harper 38,548 72.7
     Liberal Marlene Lamontagne 4,918 9.28
     Green Kelly Christie 4,732 8.95
     New Democratic Party Holly Heffernan 4,102 7.74
     Libertarian Dennis Young 265 0.50
     Christian Heritage Larry R. Heather 256 0.48
Total valid votes 52,832 100.00
Total rejected ballots 164
Turnout 52,996
2006 federal election : Calgary Southwest edit
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Conservative (x)Stephen Harper 41,549 72.36
     Liberal Mike Swanson 6,553 11.41
     New Democratic Party Holly Heffernan 4,628 8.06
     Green Kim Warnke 4,407 7.68
     Christian Heritage Larry R. Heather 279 0.49
Total valid votes 57,416 100.00
Total rejected ballots 120
Turnout 57,536
2004 federal election : Calgary Southwest edit
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Conservative (x)Stephen Harper 35,297 68.36 $62,952.76
     Liberal Avalon Roberts 9,501 18.40 $43,846.23
     Green Darcy Kraus 3,210 6.22 $534.96
     New Democratic Party Daria Fox 2,884 5.59 $3,648.70
     Marijuana Mark de Pelham 516 1.00 $0.00
     Christian Heritage Larry R. Heather 229 0.44 $985.59
Total valid votes 51,637 100.00
Total rejected ballots 149
Turnout 51,786 64.49
Electors on the lists 80,296
Canadian federal by-election, May 13, 2002 : Calgary Southwest edit
Party Candidate Votes % Expenditures
     Canadian Alliance Stephen Harper 13,200 71.66 $58,959.16
     New Democratic Party Bill Phipps 3,813 20.70 $34,789.77
     Green James S. Kohut 660 3.58 $2,750.80
     Independent Gordon Barrett 428 2.32 $3,329.34
     Christian Heritage Ron Gray 320 1.74 $27,772.78
Total valid votes 18,421 100.00
Total rejected ballots 98
Turnout 18,519 23.05
Electors on the lists 80,360
1993 federal election : Calgary West edit
Party Candidate Votes %
     Reform Stephen Harper 30,209 52.25
     Liberal Karen Gainer 15,314 26.49
     Progressive Conservative (x)James Hawkes 9,090 15.72
     New Democratic Party Rudy Rogers 1,194 2.06
     National Kathleen McNeil 1,068 1.85
     Natural Law Frank Haika 483 0.84
     Green Don Francis 347 0.60
     Christian Heritage Larry R. Heather 116 0.20
Total valid votes 57,821 100.00
Total rejected ballots 133
Turnout 57,954 66.29
Electors on the lists 87,421
1988 federal election : Calgary West edit
Party Candidate Votes %
     Progressive Conservative (x)James Hawkes 32,025 58.52
     Reform Stephen Harper 9,074 16.58
     Liberal John Phillips 6,880 12.57
     New Democratic Party Richard D. Vanderberg 6,355 11.61
     Libertarian David Faren 225 0.41
     Confederation of Regions Brent Morin 170 0.31
Total valid votes 54,729 100.00
Total rejected ballots 117
Turnout 54,846 78.75
Electors on the lists 69,650

All electoral information is taken from Elections Canada. Italicized expenditures refer to submitted totals, and are presented when the final reviewed totals are not available.

See also

References

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  4. ^ William Johnson, Stephen Harper and the Future of Canada, p. 12
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  10. ^ Paul Gessell, "The "other' parties are picking up big followings", Kitchener-Waterloo Record, October 26, 1990, A9.
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  101. ^ globalnational.com (2006-05-23). "Stephen Harper vs. The Press". Canada.com. http://www.canada.com/globaltv/national/story.html?id=89eafbaf-ddbe-45b6-aff9-f33ec9cb20a3. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  102. ^ Delacourt, Susan (2006-10-23). "PM 'critic' sent packing". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1161553809722&call_pageid=968332188492. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  103. ^ Canadian Press (2006-03-27). "Harper's staff, media battle over access issues". CTV News. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060327/pmo_media_060327?s_name=&no_ads. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  104. ^ "PM hints Canada may stay in Afghanistan past 2009". CTV News. 2007-05-23. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070522/harper_afghanistan_070523/20070523?hub=TopStories. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  105. ^ Canadian Press (2006-07-13). "Harper sides firmly with Israel" (fee required). Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060713.wHarper0713/BNStory/Front. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  106. ^ Blanchfield, Mike (2006-07-19). "Neutral stance rejected". National Post. http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=c0ada2ed-6c3d-4690-9317-739c4d97fd16&k=49262. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  107. ^ Presidents Conference to honor Harper, Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA), December 4, 2008.
  108. ^ Harper: Anti-Semitism ‘pernicious’, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), March 13, 2009.
  109. ^ "Canada — European Free Trade Association (EFTA) - Free Trade Agreement". Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. 2008-01-28. http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-agreements-accords-commerciaux/agr-acc/efta-aele.aspx?lang=en. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  110. ^ "Harper praises Australian troops, elected senate". CTV News. 2007-09-10. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070910/harper_australia_070910/20070910?hub=Politics. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  111. ^ Gloria Galloway (2006-01-27). "Harper rebukes U.S. envoy over Arctic dispute". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060127.wxharper27/BNStory/specialNewTory2006/. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  112. ^ Panetta, Alexander (2008-03-04). "Harper denies aide leaked Obama document". Ottawa: globeandmail.com. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080304.wleakupdate0304/BNStory/Front. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  113. ^ Parker, Jennifer (2008-02-29). "Clinton Campaign Demands Obama Answers on NAFTA". ABC News. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Politics/Vote2008/story?id=4365922&page=1. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  114. ^ Brian Laghi (2008-03-03). "Harper meddling in U.S. primaries, Democrats say". globeandmail.com. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080303.NAFTA03/TPStory/National. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  115. ^ "PM denies top aide leaked Obama NAFTA memo". cbc.ca. 2008-03-04. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/03/04/harper-obama.html. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  116. ^ "PM, Obama talk trade, Afghanistan, pledge 'clean energy dialogue' Àpublisher=CBC News". 2009-02-19. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/02/19/obama-visit.html. Retrieved 2009-03-15. 
  117. ^ Magazine, August 28, 2009
  118. ^ "The week that Canada learned the definition of 'prorogue'". GristMill. 2008-12-05. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/12/4/94557/3048. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  119. ^ "Harper running away from Parliament". The Province. 2008-12-05. http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=f38b74ff-43a0-4a67-b419-020a95933dd4. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  120. ^ POV, CBC News (December 30, 2009). "Parliament prorogued: Necessary move or undemocratic?". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.cbc.ca/news/yourview/2009/12/parliament-prorogued-neccessary-move-or-an-insult-to-democracy.html. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  121. ^ News, CBC (December 31, 2009). "PM 'shutting democracy down', says Easter". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2009/12/31/pei-easter-parliament-prorogue-584.html. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  122. ^ January 12, 2010
  123. ^ Economist, January 7, 2010
  124. ^ Delacourt, Susan; Richard J. Brennan (2010-01-05). "Grassroots fury greets shuttered Parliament". Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/746068. Retrieved 2010-01-20. 
  125. ^ News, CBC (January 23, 2010). "Thousands protest Parliament's suspension". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. http://www.cbc.ca/politics/story/2010/01/23/prorogue-protests.html. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  126. ^ The CBC, January 3, 2010, by Kady O'Malley.
  127. ^ "UPDATED: Sunday SenateWatch: Five vacancies? Why not a baker's dozen instead?". CBC. http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/01/sunday-senatewatch-five-vacancies-why-not-a-bakers-dozen-instead.html. 
  128. ^ Globe and Mail Update (2006-02-20). "Committee to judge next Supreme Court appointee" (fee required). Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060220.w2harper02201/BNStory/National/home. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  129. ^ a b Globe and Mail Update (2008-09-05). "Harper nominates Nova Scotian to Supreme Court". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080905.wscoc0905/BNStory/National/. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  130. ^ Globe and Mail Update (2008-09-09). "No sign of a hidden agenda". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080909.wecromwell09/BNStory/specialComment/. Retrieved 2008-09-10. 
  131. ^ Kirk Makin http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080906.JUDGE06/TPStory/?query=newfoundland+supreme+court+(2008-09-09). "Harper blasted over hasty top-court nomination". Globe and Mail. 
  132. ^ HARRIS, KATHLEEN; CZEKAJ, LAURA (2008-10-14). "Conservatives back in minority power". Toronto Sun (Canada: Sun Media). http://www.torontosun.com/canadavotes/news/2008/10/14/7084016.html. Retrieved 2009-02-15. 
  133. ^ CTV News (2006-12-17). "Time Magazine dubs Harper Cdn. newsmaker of 2006". CTV. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20061217/harper_newsmaker_061217/20061217/. 
  134. ^ Andrew Mayeda (2008-06-28). "PM calls UN conference an 'anti-Western hatefest'". National Post. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/story.html?id=619123. 
  135. ^ Campbell, Colin (February 20, 2006). "The church of Stephen Harper". Macleans. http://www.macleans.ca/article.jsp?content=20060220_121848_121848&source=srch. Retrieved 2006-08-02. 
  136. ^ Harper, Stephen (December 23, 2006). "Long before Leafs, T.O. had a team to call its own". The Star. http://www.thestar.com/News/article/164678. Retrieved 2008-10-17. 
  137. ^ Tuck, Simon (January 6, 2007). "Harper prefers 'team' approach to shootouts". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070105.wsptharper5/BNStory/Front. 
  138. ^ Press release, "Prime Minister congratulates Team Canada on gold medal victory at World Junior Hockey championships", Conservative Party of Canada, January 5, 2007
  139. ^ Akin, David (February 18, 2010). "Harper, Howe, Gretzky. No leftwingers in sight". The National Post. http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2010/02/18/david-akin-harper-howe-gretzky-shameless-totally-shameless.aspx. Retrieved 2010-03-13. 
  140. ^ Brownlee, Karen (August 30, 2006). "Don't quit your day job". The Regina Leader Post. http://www.canada.com/reginaleaderpost/news/story.html?id=410fd944-cf55-4760-b0f9-f5bfa9200dab. Retrieved 2006-12-06. 
  141. ^ Dunfield, A. (June 25, 2004). "Lighter side: C'est what?". Globe and Mail. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20040520.wcestwhatele0518/BNStory/specialDecision2004/. Retrieved 2006-04-04. '
  142. ^ Chianello, Joanne (October 2, 2009). "Harper gets on stage with a little help from his wife". Ottawa Citizen. http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Harper+changes+tune+gala/2064118/story.html. Retrieved 2009-10-02. 
  143. ^ "PM gets by with help from Yo-Yo Ma". CBC News. October 4, 2009. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/10/03/harper-piano.html. Retrieved 2009-10-04. '
  144. ^ Stephen Harper (I) - Biography

External links

28th Ministry - Government of Stephen Harper
Cabinet Posts (1)
Predecessor Office Successor
Paul Martin Prime Minister of Canada
2006–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Reynolds (interim)
Leader of the Canadian Alliance
2002–2003
Succeeded by
Position abolished
John Lynch-Staunton (Conservative)
Preceded by
John Lynch-Staunton (interim)
Leader of the Conservative Party
2004–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Members of the Royal Family
other than the Queen
[1]
Canadian order of precedence Succeeded by
Beverley McLachlin

Notes: Order of precedence

  1. ^ The Table of Precedence for Canada issued by the Department of Canadian Heritage, do not include members of the Royal Family other than the sovereign and have the Prime Minister preceded in precedence by the Governor General and then the Queen. The Canadian Forces guideline Honours, Flags, and Heritage Structure of the Canadian Forces (Section 1.5), however, does include members of the Royal Family, other than the Queen, while in Canada though without a precedence within the Royal Family itself. According to the Canadian Forces' definition, members of the Canadian Royal Family are "those persons, being subjects of the Canadian Sovereign, who bear the title 'Royal Highness.'"

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Stephen Harper (born April 30, 1959, in Toronto, Ontario) is the Prime Minister of Canada. Harper is leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, a party created from the merger of the Canadian Alliance Party (formerly the Reform Party) and the Progressive Conservative Party.

Contents

Sourced

On Canada

  • Corruption is not a Canadian value!
    • In response to former Prime Minister Paul Martin suggesting that Liberal Party values are Canadian values on April 10th, 2005.[1]
  • In exercising our sovereignty over these waters, we are not only fulfilling our duty to the people who called this northern frontier home, and to the generations that will follow; we are also being faithful to all who came before us, who through great hardship and sacrifice made a quest for knowledge of the North.
    • Announcement of the John G. Diefenbaker icebreaker project, August 28, 2008
  • Canada is a vast and empty country.
    • 2006 Leaders' Debate, December 15, 2005
  • I think there is a dangerous rise in defeatist sentiment in this country. I have said that repeatedly, and I mean it and I believe it.
    • Ottawa Citizen, June 3, 2002
  • Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.
    • National Post, Dec. 8 2000 p. A18
  • There is a continental culture. There is a Canadian culture that is in some ways unique to Canada, but I don't think Canadian culture coincides neatly with borders.
    • Report Newsmagazine January 7, 2002
  • Whether Canada ends up as o­ne national government or two national governments or several national governments, or some other kind of arrangement is, quite frankly, secondary in my opinion… And whether Canada ends up with o­ne national government or two governments or ten governments, the Canadian people will require less government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangement of any future country may be.
    • Speech to the Colin Brown Memorial Dinner, National Citizens Coalition, 1994

On Income Trusts

  • When Ralph Goodale tried to tax Income Trusts they showed us where they stood, they showed us their attitude towards raiding Seniors hard earned assets and a Conservative government will never allow either of these parties to get away with that.

On the Iraq war

  • "It [referring to calling a Minister "Idiot"] was probably not an appropriate term, but we support the war effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies and be there with them doing everything necessary to win.
    • Montreal Gazette, April 2003
  • I don't know all the facts on Iraq, but I think we should work closely with the Americans.
    • Report Newsmagazine, March 25 2002
  • We should have been there shoulder to shoulder with our allies. Our concern is the instability of our government as an ally. We are playing again with national and global security matters.
    • Canadian Press Newswire, April 11, 2003
  • On the justification for the war, it wasn't related to finding any particular weapon of mass destruction. In our judgment, it was much more fundamental. It was the removing of a regime that was hostile, that clearly had the intention of constructing weapons systems. … I think, frankly, that everybody knew the post-war situation was probably going to be more difficult than the war itself. Canada remains alienated from its allies, shut out of the reconstruction process to some degree, unable to influence events. There is no upside to the position Canada took.
    • Maclean’s, August, 25, 2003
  • This party will not take its position based on public opinion polls. We will not take a stand based o­n focus groups. We will not take a stand based o­n phone-in shows or householder surveys or any other vagaries of public opinion… In my judgment Canada will eventually join with the allied coalition if war on Iraq comes to pass. The government will join, notwithstanding its failure to prepare, its neglect in co-operating with its allies, or its inability to contribute. In the end it will join out of the necessity created by a pattern of uncertainty and indecision. It will not join as a leader but unnoticed at the back of the parade.
    • Hansard, January 29, 2003
  • We support the war effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies and be there with them doing everything necessary to win
    • Montreal Gazette, April 2, 2003
  • "It [the Iraq invasion] was absolutely an error. It's obviously clear the evaluation of weapons of mass destruction proved not to be correct. That's absolutely true and that's why we're not sending anybody to Iraq."
    • To Gilles Duceppe during the 2008 English leaders' debate, October 2, 2008

On Taxes

  • We must aim to make [Canada] a lower tax jurisdiction than the United States.
    • Vancouver Province, April 6, 2004
  • I believe that all taxes are bad.
    • CTV.ca news, December 1, 2005, "Tory tax cut promise dominates campaign"

On Kyoto

  • "Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations."
    • The Star, January 30, 2007

Various

  • Faith teaches that there is a right and wrong beyond mere opinion or desire. Most importantly, it teaches us that freedom is not an end in itself, that how freedom is exercised matters as much as freedom itself, March 15th, 2009
  • In terms of the unemployed, of which we have over a million-and-a-half, I don't feel particularly bad for many of these people.
    • Speaking in Montréal, 1997. Sourced from Rebel Youth magazine, Fall-Winter Edition 2006
  • Mr. Speaker, I am sure the picture of the hon. member of the NDP [Svend Robinson] is posted in much more wonderful places than just police stations.
    • Hansard, October 23, 2002
  • Same sex marriage is not a human right. ... [U]ndermining the traditional definition of marriage is an assault on multiculturalism and the practices in those communities.
    • Hansard, February 16, 2005
  • The world is now unipolar and contains o­nly o­ne superpower. Canada shares a continent with that superpower. In this context, given our common values and the political, economic and security interests that we share with the United States, there is now no more important foreign policy interest for Canada than maintaining the ability to exercise effective influence in Washington so as to advance unique Canadian policy objectives.
    • Canadian Alliance Defence Policy Paper: The New North Strong and Free, May 5, 2003
  • You’ve got to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from eastern Canada: people who live in ghettoes and who are not integrated into western Canadian society.
    • The Report newsmagazine, January 22, 2001
  • "Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack o­n our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society…It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff."
    • BC Report Newsmagazine, January 11, 1999
  • But I'm very libertarian in the sense that I believe in small government and, as a general rule, I don't believe in imposing values upon people.
    • National Post, March 6, 2004
  • These proposals included cries for billions of new money for social assistance in the name of “child poverty” and for more business subsidies in the name of “cultural identity. In both cases I was sought out as a rare public figure to oppose such projects.”
    • The Bulldog, National Citizens Coalition, February 1997
  • Universality has been severely reduced: it is virtually dead as a concept in most areas of public policy…These achievements are due in part to the Reform Party…
    • Speech to the Colin Brown Memorial Dinner, National Citizens Coalition, 1994
  • After all, enforced national bilingualism in this country isn’t mere policy. It has attained the status of a religion. It’s a dogma which one is supposed to accept without question.…Make no mistake. Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it is less bilingual today than it has ever been...As a religion, bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness, produced no unity, and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions.
    • Calgary Sun, May 6, 2001
  • It is imperative to take the initiative, to build firewalls around Alberta, to limit the extent to which an aggressive and hostile federal government can encroach upon legitimate provincial jurisdiction.
    • National Post, January 24, 2001, “Open Letter to Ralph Klein”
  • If Ottawa giveth, then Ottawa can taketh away… This is o­ne more reason why Westerners, but Albertans in particular, need to think hard about their future in this country. After sober reflection, Albertans should decide that it is time to seek a new relationship with Canada. …Having hit a wall, the next logical step is not to bang our heads against it. It is to take the bricks and begin building another home – a stronger and much more autonomous Alberta. It is time to look at Quebec and to learn. What Albertans should take from this example is to become “maitres chez nous.
    • National Post, December 8, 2000
  • I think in Atlantic Canada, because of what happened in the decades following Confederation, there is a culture of defeat that we have to overcome. …Atlantic Canada's culture of defeat will be hard to overcome as long as Atlantic Canada is actually physically trailing the rest of the country.
    • New Brunswick Telegraph Journal, May 29, 2002
  • I think people should elect a cat person. If you elect a dog person, you elect someone who wants to be loved. If you elect a cat person, you elect someone who wants to serve.
    • Interview with Kevin Newman, Global National April 5th, 2006
  • Those of different faiths and no faith should seek areas of common agreement based on their different perspectives.
    • Faith Today, January 11, 2006, "Faith and Politics: Party Leaders Respond"

Speech to the Council for National Policy

From a speech to the Council for National Policy, a conservative American lobby group, June 1997, as reported by the CBC

  • [Y]our country, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world.
  • It may not be true, but it's legendary that if you're like all Americans, you know almost nothing except for your own country. Which makes you probably knowledgeable about one more country than most Canadians.
  • [S]ome basic facts about Canada that are relevant to my talk... Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worst sense of the term, and very proud of it.
  • In terms of the unemployed... don't feel particularly bad for many of these people. They don't feel bad about it themselves, as long as they're receiving generous social assistance and unemployment insurance.
  • While [Montreal] it is a French-speaking city – largely – it has an enormous English-speaking minority and a large number of what are called ethnics: they who are largely immigrant communities, but who politically and culturally tend to identify with the English community.
  • [W]e have a Supreme Court, like yours, which, since we put a charter of rights in our constitution in 1982, is becoming increasingly arbitrary and important. It is also appointed by the Prime Minister. Unlike your Supreme Court, we have no ratification process.
  • [T]he NDP is kind of proof that the Devil lives and interferes in the affairs of men.
  • [The Liberal party is a] moderate Democrat, a type of Clinton-pragmatic Democrat. It's moved in the last few years very much to the right on fiscal and economic concerns, but still believes in government intrusion in the economy where possible, and does, in its majority, believe in fairly liberal social values.
  • In the last Parliament, [the Liberal Party] enacted comprehensive gun control...
  • There is an important caveat to its liberal social values. For historic reasons that I won't get into, the Liberal party gets the votes of most Catholics in the country, including many practising Catholics.
  • Then there is the Progressive Conservative party, the PC party, which won only 20 seats. Now, the term Progressive Conservative will immediately raise suspicions in all of your minds. It should. It's obviously kind of an oxymoron.
  • But the Progressive Conservative is very definitely liberal Republican. These are people who are moderately conservative on economic matters, and in the past have been moderately liberal, even sometimes quite liberal on social policy matters.
  • In fact, before the Reform Party really became a force in the late '80s, early '90s, the leadership of the Conservative party was running the largest deficits in Canadian history.
  • They were in favour of gay rights officially, officially for abortion on demand... This explains one of the reasons why the Reform party has become such a power.
  • The Reform party is much closer to what you would call conservative Republican.
  • Let me say a little bit about the Reform party because I want you to be very clear on what the Reform party is and is not... The Reform party is very much a leader-driven party.
  • [The Reform Party] also has some Buchananist tendencies. I know there are probably many admirers of Mr. Buchanan here, but I mean that in the sense that there are some anti-market elements in the Reform Party.
  • The predecessor of the Reform party, the Social Credit party, was very much like this. Believing in funny money and control of banking, and a whole bunch of fairly non-conservative economic things.
  • [The Reform Party is] also the most conservative socially, but it's not a theocon party, to use the term. The Reform party does favour the use of referendums and free votes in Parliament on moral issues and social issues.
  • Last year, when we had the Liberal government putting the protection of sexual orientation in our Human Rights Act, the Reform Party was opposed to that, but made a terrible mess of the debate. In fact, discredited itself on that issue, not just with the conventional liberal media, but even with many social conservatives by the manner in which it mishandled that.
  • The party system that is developing here in Canada is a party system that replicates the antebellum period, the pre-Civil War period of the United States... [T]he dynamics, the political and partisan dynamics of this, are remarkably similar.
  • The Bloc Québécois is equivalent to your Southern secessionists, Southern Democrats, states rights activists. The Bloc Québécois, its 44 seats, come entirely from the province of Quebec. But even more strikingly, they come from ridings, or election districts, almost entirely populated by the descendants of the original European French settlers.
  • If you look at the surviving PC support, it's very much concentrated in Atlantic Canada, in the provinces to the east of Quebec. These are very much equivalent to the United States border states. They're weak economically. They have very grim prospects if Quebec separates. These people want a solution at almost any cost.
  • The Liberal party is very much your northern Democrat, or mainstream Democratic party, a party that is less concessionary to the secessionists than the PCs, but still somewhat concessionary. And they still occupy the mainstream of public opinion in Ontario, which is the big and powerful province, politically and economically, alongside Quebec.
  • The Reform party is very much a modern manifestation of the Republican movement in Western Canada; the U.S. Republicans started in the western United States.

References

  1. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1113091097636_23/

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

The Right Honourable
 Stephen Joseph Harper 
PC, MP, MA
File:Stephen Harper G8


Incumbent
Assumed office 
February 6, 2006
Monarch Elizabeth II
Governor General Michaëlle Jean
Preceded by Paul Martin

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary Southwest
Incumbent
Assumed office 
June 28, 2002
Preceded by Preston Manning

Member of the Canadian Parliament
for Calgary West
In office
1993 – 1997
Preceded by James Hawkes
Succeeded by Rob Anders

Born April 30, 1959 (1959-04-30) (age 51)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Birth name Stephen Joseph Harper
Nationality Canadian
Political party Conservative
(2003–present)
Other political
affiliations
Young Liberals
(c. 1974 – early 1980s)
Progressive Conservative
(1985–1986)
Reform
(1987–1997)
Canadian Alliance
(2002–2003)
Spouse Laureen Harper
Children Benjamin and Rachel
Residence 24 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario (Official)

Calgary, Alberta (Private)

Alma mater University of Calgary
Occupation Economist
Religion Evangelical (Christian and Missionary Alliance)
Signature File:Stephen Harper
Website Prime Minister of Canada

Stephen Joseph Harper, (born April 30, 1959), is the current, and 22nd Prime Minister of Canada. He is a member of the Conservative Party. He was elected in February 2006 and replaced Paul Martin. He has been the Prime Minister of Canada ever since. He was born in 1959 in Toronto, Ontario and lived in Calgary, Alberta. He is married to Laureen Teskey and has two children. He is the third Prime Minister, after Pierre Trudeau and John Turner, to send their children to Rockcliffe Park Public School, in Ottawa. Stephen Harper is currently in his 4rth year as Prime Minister of Canada.

In 2010, Stephen Harper as the prime minister of Canada hosted both the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Harper also hosted the G8 and G20 meetings.

Prime Ministers of Canada
Macdonald | Mackenzie | Macdonald | Abbott | Thompson | Bowell | Tupper | Laurier | Borden | Meighen | King | Meighen | King | Bennett | King | St. Laurent | Diefenbaker | Pearson | Trudeau | Clark | Trudeau | Turner | Mulroney | Campbell | Chrétien | Martin | Harper







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