Stephen Harper: Canada needs a ‘conservative renaissance’


Former prime minister Stephen Harper says Canada desperately needs a “Conservative renaissance.”

Harper is speaking to a room of party loyalists gathered in Ottawa for an annual networking conference organized by the Strong and Liberal Network of Canada, formerly known as the Manning Center.

Wednesday’s public appearance was a rare one for Harper, who has retreated from political life after losing to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in the 2015 election.

Presented as a party “politician”, Harper has defended the term “populism”, which, he says, is often portrayed negatively or inaccurately by what he called the “liberal media”.

Harper reminds the audience that the modern Conservative party is built on populism in Western Canada, nationalism in Quebec and the Tories from Ontario.

He says it is indebted to Preston Manning, the founder of the Reform Party, with Prairie populist roots, who merged with the former Radical Conservatives to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on March 22, 2023.

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