The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper
Prime Minister of Canada
Stephen Harper was sworn in as Canada's 22nd Prime Minister on February 6, 2006.
Mr. Harper was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1993 federal election as the Reform Party's candidate in Calgary West. He left Parliament in 1997 to become Vice President (and later President) of the National Citizens Coalition, a prominent Canadian advocacy organization. In 2002, he became Leader of the Opposition after winning the leadership of the Canadian Alliance and a subsequent by-election in Calgary Southwest.
In 2003, Mr. Harper co-founded the Conservative Party of Canada and went on to win the new party's leadership.
As Conservative leader in the 2004 federal election, Mr. Harper increased the Conservatives' standing in the House of Commons by 25 seats, including an important breakthrough in Ontario.
In the 2006 federal election, and for the first time in 13 years, the Conservatives were given a mandate to form government by the Canadian electorate. Under Stephen Harper's leadership the Conservative Party made important inroads and breakthroughs across the country.
Canadians once again confirmed their trust in the Harper government when they went to the polls in 2008. They voted to return the Conservatives with a strengthened mandate, confident in the government's ability to lead Canada through unstable economic times.
As Prime Minister, Mr. Harper is committed to building a Canada that remains strong, united, independent and free. He is committed to enacting accountability measures for government, lowering taxes for working families, helping parents cope with the costs of child care, reforming the criminal justice system and rebuilding the Canadian Forces.
Stephen Harper was born on April 30, 1959, in Toronto, Ontario. He moved to Alberta in 1978 to work in the petroleum industry and went on to obtain both a bachelor's and a master's degree in economics from the University of Calgary. Mr. Harper and his wife Laureen have two children, Benjamin and Rachel, and maintain a permanent home in Calgary.