Canada Politics
Stephen Harper

Who is Stephen Harper?

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05/12/2011

Stephen Joseph Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada as the Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. He became the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada on 2006 February 6, and led 2 minority governments before he gained a majority government in the 2011 May Canadian federal election.

Born in Toronto, Ontario, Harper moved to Alberta after dropping out of the University of Toronto. He eventually gained a degree at the University of Calgary, and although initially affiliated with the Liberal Party, Harper separated from them, joining the Progressive Conservative Party in 1985.

Harper ending up breaking with the PC party as well, joining the Reform Party and becoming a Member of Parliament. The Reform party would later become the Alliance and Harper would become its leader in 2002 after Stockwell Day's resignation. When the Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives merged to form the Conservative Party in 2003, Harper would emerge as the leader of the party formed from merging the two right leaning parties.

Although the Liberal Party would retain power for some time, voters began to accept the Conservatives under Harper's leadership, giving them first a minority government in 2006, a larger one in 2008, and finally a majority in 2011.