Archive for the ‘Harper’ Category

Eight of the country’s 22 PMs were under the age of 50 when assuming office.

3rd youngest Prime Minister — Arthur Meighen, 46. PMs Kim Campbell and Stephen Harper were also 46 on assuming office.

2nd youngest Prime Minister — Brian Mulroney, 45.

Youngest Prime Minister — Joe Clark, 39. He turned 40 the day after becoming PM.


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2004: With the dissolution of Canada’s 37th Parliament, Joe Clark ends his career (for now?) as a Member of Parliament. First elected in 1972 to represent Rocky Mountain, Alberta (later recreated as Yellowhead), he served for two decades, including a brief term as PM in 1979-1980.

He retired in 1993, wisely avoiding the near obliteration of the party under Kim Campbell at the polls. With no one stepping up to lead the party five years later, Clark returned to politics, and two years later became an MP once again, winning a by-election in Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia. In the next election, he ran successfully for the seat in Calgary Centre. An inability to re-grow the party fast enough — and a looming merger with Stephen Harper‘s Alliance Party — convinced Clark to retire from Parliament.

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1959Stephen Joseph Harper is born in the Leaside neighbourhood of Toronto. He is the first of three sons born to Joseph Harper and Margaret Johnston.

He attends school first in Leaside, then in Etobicoke after the family moves to the west end of Toronto. A whiz in school, Harper becomes a member of the Richview Collegiate team on the television quiz show Reach For The Top. Question: Who was the first PM born in Toronto? Answer: Lester B. Pearson.

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2009 — On his first official visit outside the United States, President Barack Obama is greeted on Parliament Hill by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The two leaders hold a private meeting that carries on during a working lunch.

In a joint news conference, Harper and Obama pledge to work together on finding ways to recover from the economic recession that clobbered world markets last fall.

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2006 — The Conservative party, led by Stephen Harper, defeats the Liberals of Prime Minister Paul Martin, but Canada will still be saddled with a minority government. Both men are re-elected in their respective ridings: Calgary Southwest and La Salle-Émard.

The television coverage of the 39th federal election includes an interview on CBC with former Prime Minister Kim Campbell who gives a lukewarm endorsement to Harper. She admits she doesn’t really know him since he entered Parliament in the 1993 election that ended her career in politics.

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nov282005 — For the first time in Canadian history, a federal government is defeated in a straight no-confidence vote. The vote wasn’t linked to any legislation. It was simply a case of the three opposition parties voting against the Liberal minority government of Paul Martin.

The vote seemed inevitable after Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party, informed Martin that future NDP support for the Liberals would depend on a ban on private health care, as well as a several other conditions. Martin refused, opening the way for the no-confidence motion made by the Leader of the Opposition, Stephen Harper.

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nov062006 — Parliament passes a bill to create fixed election dates. Introduced by the government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the legislation calls for elections to take place on the third Monday of October every four years — establishing the next election to take place on October 19, 2006.

However, two years later, Harper pre-empts the spirit of the legislation by calling an election to capitalize on favourable polling results. A legal challenge is discarded by federal judge Michael Shore who indicates the election call was not illegal. The legislation does not override the ability of the government to call elections sooner than the four-year cycle.

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