It was a shocker when I heard the news the other day. Stephen Joseph Harper, the former leader of the CPC and former PM announced his resignation from Parliament once summer break kicks in. I was shocked to hear the news. I was quite saddened to hear about it and hearing that was not as emotional as when I heard his final speech from October. I almost cried when I heard his resignation speech the other day. Even writing this has gotten emotional for me. Let’s look at Harper’s past record and remember the great old days of Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper was born in Toronto, one of the most left-wing cities in all of Canada. Due to this, he was a Liberal at first, other social factors might have led him into becoming a Liberal. It wasn’t until when he moved to Calgary for his future studies was when he became a Conservative. Pierre Trudeau was the PM in his days and introduced the National Energy Program (NEP) which destroyed the economies of Western Canada, essentially alienating them. Harper opposed the NEP and this led him into looking into the blue light, which changed his political views forever.
Stephen Harper was able to do something very remarkable for Conservatives from coast-to-coast-to-coast that no previous leader was able to do. He was able to unite the two Conservative parties in the day: the Canadian Alliance and the PC party. This merger was phenomenal as it united two parties which were archenemies and this ended vote splitting between the two across the country. Harper led the party after the leadership convention, reduced Martin’s government to a minority and finally ended 13 years of Liberal rule.
Harper, in my view, was the best PM in modern Canadian history. The thing about Stephen Harper I appreciated the most were the tax breaks. Because of those tax breaks, we have one of the richest middle class in the world. We were able to weather our way through the 2008 economic crisis and created 1.3 million jobs since then and we have a strong job growth record in the G7. Our reputation hasn’t been any better as it has soared with Stephen Harper in power. We have had more free trade agreements than under the Liberal governments.
What progressives out there will do is slam his record, especially when it comes to his deficits. The Liberal, NDP and Bloc always opposed Harper’s balanced budget measures, so he ran deficits because he had issues passing a balanced budget measure. Recently, the finance department came out with a report that the Tories left us in deficit for this fiscal year. That is clearly false. The Liberals took Harper’s $7.5 billion surplus and turned it into a $9.4 billion deficit so they could say that we were left in deficit. Even Joe Oliver himself predicted that the Liberals would turn Harper’s surplus into a deficit.
Stephen Harper, it was a great time having you as our PM. 9-1/2 years was the greatest time of growth under your government. Though we fell in October, you were able to form Canada’s Official Opposition, but you kept us strong along with the Tory pride. As this convention brought along change for us and the party, we will not forget everything Harper has done for us in the past 9 years. Thank you Stephen Harper and your wonderful service for all Canadians!