— Stephen Harper (@stephenharper) July 26, 2022
“In this particular race, there’s been a lot of speculation about whom I support or do not support, and why. So it may be useful for my fellow party members to hear my views straight from me,” Harper said in a video he shared on social media on July 25.
Harper said the leadership candidacy pool is a “strong field,” but Poilievre has “made by far the strongest case” that he’s the right person to take the helm of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC).
Poilievre, a Conservative MP since 2004, was the minister of employment and social development as well as the minister of state for democratic reform during the Harper government. Since the Liberals took power in 2005, he has held important shadow cabinet positions, including shadow minister for finance, and has come to be known for his critical exchanges with the Liberals, which he often shares on social media.
Harper said Poilievre has been the CPC’s “most vocal and effective critic of the Trudeau Liberals,” and has been addressing important issues.
“He’s been talking about the issues, especially the economic issues, that matter: slow growth, inflation, lack of jobs and housing opportunities, and the need to fix the institutions that are failing Canadian families,” he said.
“He’s proposing answers rooted in sound conservative ideas, but ones adapted for today’s realities. That’s why he has the strong support of our caucus and our existing membership, and why he is bringing the most new members and a new generation into our party. That’s how we win the next federal election.”
Reacting to Harper’s video, Poilievre said Harper led Canada “through turbulent economic times, balanced the budget, and made life more affordable for Canadian families,” and expressed his appreciation for the endorsement.
“I was proud to serve in his Cabinet, and it’s a big honour to have his support in this leadership race,” Poilievre said in a post on social media.
Prime Minister @stephenharper led Canada through turbulent economic times, balanced the budget, and made life more affordable for Canadian families.
I was proud to serve in his Cabinet, and it’s a big honour to have his support in this leadership race. https://t.co/GAolMQG1q1
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) July 26, 2022
Other candidates running in the CPC leadership race include Tory MP Scott Aitchison, former Ontario Independent MPP Roman Baber, former Quebec premier Jean Charest, and Tory MP Leslyn Lewis. Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown was also a candidate but was disqualified due to allegations of wrongdoing in the campaign, a charge he denies.
In a statement in response to Harper’s video, Charest said the former prime minister “has made a personal choice,” and added that Harper and his supporters “will always be welcome in the CPC.”
— Jean Charest (@JeanCharest_) July 26, 2022
“This race is about the future, right now, we have a choice: lose more seats or build on our momentum across Canada to win a majority government,” Charest said.
The results of the leadership race are expected to be announced on Sept. 10.