Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a Dollard-des-Ormeaux high school his second campaign stop in Quebec Wednesday night in an attempt to garner support for Conservative candidates in the province. The 750 to 1,000 supporters in attendance thundered, “Harper! Harper!” as he took to the stage. “Wow, this is a great crowd,” he said. “It is a great message to Mr. Ignatieff that Quebec federalists don’t want to be in bed with the Bloc after all.”
Harper took the opportunity to introduce his Montreal team of Conservative candidates to those in attendance.
Chief among them was Larry Smith, a rising political star in the Conservative party, who Harper credited with keeping “white-collar criminals” like Earl Jones behind bars. Smith stepped down from his Senate seat in March to run in the federal elections, less than four months after being appointed to the seat by the Harper government.
Harper addressed his supporters with the hope of helping Smith win the Lac-St-Louis riding, which has consistently voted Liberal for the last 20 years. “Why are we in an election?Â Our last budget was an excellent budget.” said Harper. “Mr. Ignatieff doesn’t think he needs to win an election.Â Just hold us to a minority, and they will move with lightning speed to impose their reckless coalition on Canadians.”
“What exactly is the economic plan of this coalition?Â They didn’t have on the first time they tried it, and they don’t have one now – they’ll spend more, and they’ll raise your taxes.”
To Harper, the divide between his party and the opposition is clear: The Tories are the party of ideas, while the others are parties of “no” – their only solution is more taxes for Canadians. “They want to put a tax on iPods,” he claimed.
He then touched on other issues — from Montreal’s aerospace industry to immigration and the Conservatives’ record on promoting multiculturalism.
“Never forget our record â€“ the first black MPs were Conservatives,” he said, a sentiment which resonated well with the multi-ethnic base that came to hear the Prime Minister speak.
Harper finished the speech by reminding his supporters what he believes is the only outcome for the upcoming elections: “A strong, stable, Conservative majority.”