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Stephen Joseph Harper is a Canadian politician who served as 22nd Prime Minister of Canada from 2006 to 2015.
See the fact file below for more information on the Stephen Harper or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Stephen Harper worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
- Stephen Harper was born on April 30, 1959, to Margaret Johnston and Joseph Harris Harper, an accountant at Imperial Oil.
- He attended Northlea Public School, then John G. Althouse Middle School, and then Richview Collegiate Institute.
- Stephen graduated from high school in 1978. He was a member of the Richview Collegiate team on Reach for the Top, a televised academic quiz show for high school students, and he was a member of Richview’s Young Liberals Club.
- He then completed a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1985 and a master’s degree in economics, completed in 1991 at the University of Calgary.
- He is married to Laureen Teskey, with two children – Benjamin and Rachel.
EARLY POLITICAL CAREER
- Harper began his political career by representing the Calgary West in the Canadian House of Commons in 1993 as a member of the Reform Party.
- He supported political parties refraining from taking official positions on “issues of conscience”, such as same-sex marriage.
- After leaving office, he led the National Citizens Coalition. It advocated for free enterprise and lower taxes. He was also critical of the federal response to Quebec separatism.
- In 2002, Harper was elected leader of the Canadian Alliance and returned to Parliament as the MP for the Calgary Southwest.
- He opposed special status for the province in the Canadian Constitution, endorsed greater provincial autonomy on Medicare, argued for “parental rights” to use corporal punishment against their children, and supported raising the age of sexual consent.
- While some of his political opinions were heavily criticized, Harper continued with his endeavor and condemned the Canadian government’s unwillingness to participate in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
- During the Conservative Party leadership in 2004, Harper was elected the first leader along with 99 seats in the House of Commons.
- His party opposed same-sex marriage and vehemently declared the liberal government’s incompetence, hence introducing a motion of no confidence by winning 171-133.
- As a result, Parliament was dissolved, and a general election was scheduled for January 23, 2006.
THE PRIME MINISTER
- In January 2006, the Conservatives won more than 36% of the national vote and took 124 seats in the House of Commons.
- Stephen Harper became the 22nd prime minister of Canada, leading a minority government.
- He then committed his services based on four pillars: accountability, security, environmental protection, and strong economic management.
- Under his administration, the following were proposed:
- The Clean Air Act – setting guidelines meeting emissions goals as an alternative for dealing with climate change.
- Canada’s sovereignty over Arctic waters – access to potential petroleum resources in the Arctic seabed.
- Withdrawal of Canadian troops in Afghanistan.
- Formal apology for the treatment of indigenous peoples in residential schools by forcing the children to assimilate into Canadian society.
- Pushing the recognition of the Québécois as a nation.
- Reduced the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to 5% from seven and lowered Canada’s corporate and small-business tax rate during his tenure.
- Succeeded in raising the age of sexual consent in 2008 to 16 from 14.
- He was also among the most vocal opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggressions in Ukraine.
- Harper launched the Muskoka Initiative at the G8 summit in 2010. It committed member nations to spend billions to help reduce the number of mothers and children who die in developing countries each year.
- He also supported Israel in its campaign against terrorism and disputes.
- Harper froze MP and senator salaries between 2010-2012, including his prime ministerial salary in the wake of deficit spending.
- Harper’s government pushed Parliament to strengthen antiterrorism legislation with the passage of Bill C-51 – authorizing the sharing of private information between 17 government organizations and including the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) for preventive actions.
- In the 2015 election, despite Harper’s efforts to campaign listing his achievements, the liberals garnered 39.5% of the vote and formed a 184-seat majority government with Trudeau as prime minister.
Stephen Harper Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Stephen Harper across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Stephen Harper worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Stephen Joseph Harper who is a Canadian politician who served as 22nd Prime Minister of Canada from 2006 to 2015.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Stephen Harper Facts
- Get to Know Canada
- Life of a Politician
- Individual Roles
- Heads of States
- Deciding Right
- Men Who Paved the Way
- Leaving a Legacy
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Use With Any Curriculum
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