Stephen Harper

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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.


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.
    • 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


  • 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.

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