"Stephen [Harper] had difficulty accepting that there might be a few
other people (not many, perhaps, but a few) who were as smart as he
was with respect to policy and strategy."
- Former Reform Party founder and leader Preston Manning on
Stephen Harper in his memoirs.
"What we clearly need is
experimentation with market reforms and private delivery options [in
- Stephen Harper, then President of the NCC, 2001.
"People skills? He was more fond of policy. Constituency work
seemed like a grind for him."
- Long-time Reform and Alliance MP Deborah Grey on Conservative
leader Stephen Harper.
"I know this is a dangerous subject. My advisors say don't talk
about it, but the fact is sometimes provinces have allowed in the
past few years, they've brought in private services covered by
public health insurance... Why do I care and why do we care as a
federal government how they're managed? What we care about is
whether people can access them. This is just an ideological agenda."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper at the leadership debate,
June 15th 2004, conceding that he shouldn't talk about his positive
view of privatization of health care.
"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."
- Stephen Harper, then Vice-President of the National Citizens
"For taxpayers, however, it’s a rip-off. And it has nothing to do
with gender. Both men and women taxpayers will pay additional money
to both men and women in the civil service. That’s why the federal
government should scrap its ridiculous pay equity law."
- Stephen Harper on pay equity, NCC Overview, Fall 1998.
"In a sense, people are so enraged at the Liberal government,
that they're giving Stephen Harper and his government a bye. They
should take a look at what he proposes."
- Former Progressive Conservative leader Joe Clark, April 26th
2004, accusing Conservative Leader Stephen Harper of harbouring a
"hidden" agenda. Reported in the Globe and Mail.
"Now 'pay equity' has everything to do with pay and nothing to do
with equity. It’s based on the vague notion of 'equal pay for work
of equal value,' which is not the same as equal pay for the same
- Stephen Harper, NCC Overview, Fall 1998.
"This party will not take its position based on public opinion
polls. We will not take a stand based on focus groups. We will not
take a stand based on phone-in shows or householder surveys or any
other vagaries of pubic opinion... In my judgment Canada will
eventually join with the allied coalition if war on Iraq comes to
pass. The government will join, notwithstanding its failure to
prepare, its neglect in co-operating with its allies, or its
inability to contribute. In the end it will join out of the
necessity created by a pattern of uncertainty and indecision. It
will not join as a leader but unnoticed at the back of the parade."
- Stepehen Harper indicating that, if elected, Canada will join
the US occupation of Iraq, Hansard, January 29th 2003.
"Stephen Harper not only opposes Kyoto, but he refutes the science.
He’s back in the dinosaur era. Harper is just totally out of it."
- David Suzuki on Canadian Alliance leader Stephen Harper, 2003.
"Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of
written in 2002
"I do not intend to dispute in any way the need for defence cuts and
the need for government spending cuts in general. …I do not share a
not in my backyard approach to government spending reductions."
- Stepehen Harper, Hansard, May 23rd 1995. Harper has since
roundly criticized spending cuts in the mid-1990s.
"I don't know all the facts on Iraq, but I think we should work
closely with the Americans."
- Stepehen Harper, Report Newsmagazine, March 25th 2002. As it
turned out, Harper wasn't the only one who didn't know all the
"I’m not doing witch-hunts on people’s pasts… If someone does
something wrong, there will be action taken. But if somebody doesn’t
do anything wrong, we’re not going to take any action… I don’t make
volunteer field decisions… but Betty Granger is a riding president,
a member in good standing. She’s somebody that other members I’ve
talked to think very highly of, and quite frankly, she was the
victim of an unfair slur story in the last election campaign."
- Stepehen Harper on Betty Granger, one of three Harper
leadership organizers in Manitoba. Granger is a candidate from the
2000 election whose remarks about an 'Asian invasion' created
controversy. Calgary Herald, January 15th 2002.
"Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan... Collect our own revenue
from personal income tax... Resume provincial responsibility for
health-care policy. If Ottawa objects to provincial policy, fight in
the courts... [E]ach province should raise its own revenue for
health... It is imperative to take the initiative, to build
firewalls around Alberta... "
- Stepehen Harper in an "Open letter to Ralph Klein," January
"It was probably not an appropriate term, but we support the war
effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies
and be there with them doing everything necessary to win."
- Stepehen Harper supporting the US-lead war on Iraq, Montreal
Gazette, April 2nd 2003. Harper also called then-Defence Minister
John McCallum an "idiot."
"Well, I’ve always believed that we have to be a lot tougher with
undocumented refugee claimants. Whether the best thing is to send
them right out of the country or simply detain them until we get
full information, we can look at either but, no this is a problem
that does need to be fixed. Particularly post 9/11, we can’t take
these kinds of security risks."
- Stephen Harper, CHML Radio AM 900 Hamilton, June 3, 2004.
"It will come as no surprise to anybody to know that I support the
traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one
woman to the exclusion of all others, as expressed in our
traditional common law."
- Stephen Harper, Hansard, Address in the House of Commons on
Bill C-38, February 16, 2005.
"It is simply difficult – extremely difficult – for someone to
become bilingual in a country that is not. And make no mistake.
Canada is not a bilingual country. In fact it less bilingual today
than it has ever been... So there you have it. As a religion,
bilingualism is the god that failed. It has led to no fairness,
produced no unity and cost Canadian taxpayers untold millions."
- Stephen Harper on bilingualism, Calgary Sun, May 6th 2001.
"I think it's a typical hidden agenda of the Liberal party... They
had the courts do it for them, they put the judges in they wanted,
then they failed to appeal -- failed to fight the case in court... I
think the federal government deliberately lost this case in court
and got the change to the law done through the back door."
- Stephen Harper, attacking the Liberals on same-sex marriage by
claiming a conspiracy, News Hound, September 7th 2003.
"It is inherently dangerous to allow a country such as Iraq to
retain weapons of mass destruction, particularly in light of its
past aggressive behaviour. If the world community fails to disarm
Iraq, we fear that other rogue states will be encouraged to believe
that they too can have these most deadly of weapons to
systematically defy international resolutions and that the world
will do nothing to stop them."
- Stephen Harper supporting the American invasion of Iraq, House
of Commons, March 20, 2003.
"This government's only explanation for not standing behind our
allies is that they couldn't get the approval of the Security
Council at the United Nations - a body [on] which Canada doesn't
even have a seat."
- Stephen Harper supporting the American invasion of Iraq, CTV's
Question Period, March 30, 2003.
"Mr. Speaker, the issue of war requires moral leadership. We believe
the government should stand by our troops, our friends and our
allies and do everything necessary to support them right through to
- Stephen Harper, supporting the American invasion of Iraq, House
of Commons, April 1, 2003.
"A culture of defeat..."
-Stephen Harper, describing the Atlantic provinces, May 2001.
"The time has come to recognize that the U.S. will continue to
exercise unprecedented power in a world where international rules
are still unreliable and where security and advancing of the free
democratic order still depend significantly on the possession and
use of military might."
- Stephen Harper, May, 2003, speech to the Institute for Research
on Public Policy.
"Whether Canada ends up with one national government or two
governments or 10 governments, the Canadian people will require less
government no matter what the constitutional status or arrangement
of any future country may be."
- Stephen Harper in a 1994 National Citizens Coalition speech.
"It's the idea that we just have to go along, we can't change it,
things won't change. I think that's the sad part, the sad reality
traditional parties have bred in parts of Atlantic Canada."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper talks about the Atlantic
provinces, May 2002.
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper voting against a motion
urging the Canadian government not to participate in the US military
intervention in Iraq, March 20, 2003.
"You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals
hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or
recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are
not integrated into Western Canadian society."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper, in Report Newsmagazine, 2001.
"Rob is a true reformer and a true conservative. He has been a faithful
supporter of mine and I am grateful for his work."
- Stephen Harper endorsing Calgary West Conservative MP Rob Anders,
who in 2001 called Nelson Mandela "a Communist and terrorist."
"Regarding sexual orientation or, more accurately, what we are really
talking about, sexual behaviour, the argument has been made ... that
this is analogous to race and ethnicity.... (For) anyone in the Liberal
party to equate the traditional definition of marriage with segregation
and apartheid is vile and disgusting."
- Conservative leader Stephen Harper, 2003.
"While [Stephen] Harper has not promised to raise pro-life or pro-family
legislation he has promised to allow such legislation to be introduced
by others and to permit free votes..."
- Anti-abortion Web site LifeSite.net, March 22, 2004.
"America, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an
inspiration to people in this country and across the world," - a
speech Stephen Harper made eight years ago to a conservative American