Harper, Stephen life and biography

Harper, Stephen picture, image, poster

Harper, Stephen biography

Date of birth : 1959-04-30
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality : Canadian
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2010-04-16
Credited as : Prime Minister of Canada, Political figure and leader, Conservative Party

1 votes so far

Stephen Joseph Harper (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.

Harper became involved in politics as a member of his high school's Young Liberals Club. He later changed his political allegiance because he disagreed with the National Energy Program (NEP) of Pierre Trudeau's Liberal government. 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 and its inability to fully revoke the NEP until 1986. He left the PC Party that same year.

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!

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. 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. He delivered a speech at the Reform Party's 1991 national convention, in which he condemned extremist views.

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.

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.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.

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

Family and personal life
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.

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.

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. In February 2010, Harper interviewed former NHL hockey greats Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe for a Saskatoon Kinsmen Club charity event.

Harper taped a cameo appearance in an episode of the television show Corner Gas which was aired in spring 2007. Harper reportedly owns a large vinyl record collection and is an avid fan of The Beatles and AC/DC. 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. The Prime Minister received a standing ovation after providing the piano accompaniment and lead vocals for the song.

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.

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."

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.

Read more


 
Please read our privacy policy. Page generated in 0.145s