Stephen Joseph Harper is a former Prime Minister of Canada and a Canadian entrepreneur, economist, and politician. He is Canada’s 22nd Prime Minister and the longest-serving Conservative Prime Minister since Sir John A. Macdonald. He was a member of the ‘Young Liberal Club’ in high school, but in 1985, he became the chief adviser to Progressive Conservative MP Jim Hawkes, a total 180 degree turnaround in views. However, he immediately became disillusioned and left the party before the end of the year. He served as the leader of the ‘National Citizens Coalition’ and later led the ‘Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance’ after playing a key part in the founding of the ‘Reform Party of Canada’ in 1987. He transformed Canada’s current political scene by uniting the country’s once-divided and failing right flank into the ‘Conservative Party of Canada’ (CPC). Harper led the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) to three straight federal election victories as a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Calgary Heritage electoral district in Alberta. He was finally beaten by the Canadian ‘Liberal Party,’ led by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He is frequently referred to as a Conservative and a monarchist in the fullest sense, and his administration’s policies reflect this.
Childhood and Adolescence
Stephen Harper was born in Leaside, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on April 30, 1959, to Joseph Harris Harper and Margaret (née Johnston) Harper. Grant and Robert are his younger brothers.When his family moved to the Etobicoke neighborhood, he attended ‘Northlea Public School,’ then ‘John G. Althouse Middle School,’ and ‘Richview Collegiate Institute.’
In 1978, he spent two months at the ‘University of Toronto’ before dropping out and relocating to Edmonton, Alberta. He began working as a mail-room clerk and in various capacities for ‘Imperial Oil,’ the same business where his father worked.He enrolled at the ‘University of Calgary’ three years later, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1985 and a master’s degree in the same subject in 1991.
Career of Stephen Harper
While politics was not Stephen Harper’s first choice for a career, he was a member of the ‘Young Liberals Club’ in high school and was involved in political activities. When he became disillusioned with Pierre Trudeau’s ‘National Energy Program,’ his political affiliation shifted from liberalism to conservatism.In 1985, he joined the ‘Progressive Conservative Party’ and served as the main aide to MP Jim Hawkes. He resigned after a year because he was fed up with the party and Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s cabinet.
Harper spoke at the Canadian ‘Reform Party”s first convention in Winnipeg in 1987 on the request of Preston Manning, the party’s founder and leader, and later joined their ranks as the Chief Policy Officer. He was defeated in his first election, the 1988 federal election for the Calgary West riding, when he was defeated by Hawkes. Harper went on to defeat the Hawks in the 1993 federal election.Harper was a vocal social conservative during his time as a Reform Party MP from 1993 to 1997. He spoke out against Justice Minister Allan Rock’s intentions to give same-sex couples spousal benefits.
With Manning at the leadership, the Reform Party was swiftly sliding toward populism, which Harper passionately opposed. He opted not to run in the 1997 federal election in protest. He was named vice-president of the ‘National Citizens Coalition,’ a conservative lobbying group, on January 14, 1997, the same day he resigned. He would later become the organization’s president.In 2002, he was chosen to lead the ‘Canadian Alliance,’ the ‘Reform Party’s’ new avatar. He had long believed that the Liberal Party’s electoral success since 1993 was due in large part to conservatives’ unwillingness to present a cohesive front. In 2003, he collaborated with PC leader Peter MacKay to form a united ‘Conservative Party of Canada.’
After forcing the Liberals to form a minority government in 2004, Harper led the Conservatives to victory in the 2006 federal election, gaining 36.3 percent of the vote and 124 of the 308 seats, ensuring that the Conservatives would form a minority government as well. He and his 27-member cabinet were sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada on February 6, 2006.Harper served two additional terms as Prime Minister, both times falling short of the 170-seat threshold required to create a majority government.
Despite Harper retaining his Calgary-Heritage riding, the CPC was defeated by Justin Trudeau’s ‘Liberal Party’ in the 2015 federal election. The Conservative Party of Canada won 99 seats against the Liberal Party’s 184, while Thomas Mulcair’s ‘New Democratic Party,’ ‘Bloc Québécois,’ and ‘Green Party of Canada,’ respectively, won 44, 10, and 1 seats.He was a Conservative backbencher for a short time before declaring his departure from politics in 2016. He now serves on the board of directors of Harper & Associates Consulting Inc.
Major Projects of Harper
The motion that recognized that “the Québécois form a nation within a united Canada” is an important legacy of the Harper administration. It was passed with 266 votes in favor and 16 votes against.In his inaugural address in 2006, he praised Elizabeth II as Canada’s head of state. He restored the word ‘royal’ to the official names of the Canadian army and navy, which had been missing for 49 years.Harper’s economic policies were a resounding success.
Canada emerged from the recession with a more stable economy than any other G7 country. It also has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio out of the group.Terrorism, like fascism and communism before it, was described by the Harper administration as the biggest struggle of our generation. Under his leadership, Canada’s defense spending reached an all-time high since World War II, although accounting for barely 1% of the country’s GDP.
Achievements & Awards
Stephen Harper was awarded the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal’ for Canada in 2002 as the ‘Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition’ and an elected ‘Member of the House of Commons’ of Canada.In 2012, he was awarded the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal’ for his work as Prime Minister of Canada.In 2014, he received an honorary doctorate degree from ‘Tel Aviv University.’
Personal Experiences of Harper
In 1990, Stephen Harper met Laureen Ann Teskey, his future wife. Teskey was working for ‘GTO Printing’ at the time, and is a Conservative. Harper’s paper for his master’s degree in Economics required graphs and tables, which were printed by the computer graphics studio. On December 11, 1993, they tied the knot. They have a son, Benjamin (born 1996), and a daughter, Rachel, together (born 1999).
Ice hockey is his favorite sport. On November 5, 2013, ‘Simon & Schuster Canada’ published ‘A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs and the Rise of Professional Hockey,’ a non-fiction book on the early decades of professional hockey in North America.Harper has been a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs ice hockey team since he was a toddler.Since Joe Clark, Canada’s 16th Prime Minister, he has been the only Prime Minister without a law degree in the country.
Estimated Worth of Harper
Stephen Harper is a $7 million dollar Canadian politician. As the Member of Parliament for Calgary, the leader of the Canadian Alliance, and a co-founder of the Conservative Party of Canada, Stephen Harper has become well-known in the political world. Stephen Joseph Harper was born on April 15, 1959, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.