by Morinville News Staff

10 months after losing the federal election, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper resigned his Calgary Heritage MP seat in the House of Commons and retired from politics.

Interim Conservative Leader and Spruce Grove-Parkland MP issued some parting comments for Harper (57).

“Today, the Conservative Party of Canada joins all Canadians in expressing our utmost respect and warm wishes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper as he steps back from his role as the Member of Parliament for Calgary Heritage, and the Canadian political stage,” Ambrose wrote.

The interim party leader praised Harper for being at the forefront of the movement to unite conservative Canadians across the country under one banner back in 2003 and the former prime minister’s record.

“The record Prime Minister Harper leaves in office is a proud one,” Ambrose said in her statement, citing his “clear-eyed” foreign policy and domestic activities. “Here in Canada, his economic record speaks volumes. During his leadership Canada emerged from the global recession faster and stronger than any country in the G7, which included a net gain of 1.3 million new jobs, a balanced budget, and the wealthiest middle class anywhere on the globe. His time in office saw an ambitious free trade agenda open up markets around the world for Canadian businesses, and free trade deals now signed with over 40 countries.”

For Ambrose and her party, there is a belief that Canada under Stephen Harper was committed to protecting the most vulnerable in society.

“His leadership saw sweeping changes to strengthen child protection laws and the introduction of the Victims Bill of Rights, which once and for all put the rights of victims ahead of the rights of criminals,” Ambrose said. “The creation of the Universal Child Care Benefit helped lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty, and the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health initiative has helped save the lives of millions of mothers and babies around the world.”

Ambrose said she took an opportunity to thank Harper for everything he had done for Canadians.

Provincially, Premier Rachel Notley also issued a statement on former Prime Minister Harper’s resignation from Parliament.

“Mr. Harper has always been a proud Canadian, a proud Albertan and a dedicated family man,” Notley said. “He served our country for many years as prime minister and as the member of Parliament for Calgary Heritage.”

The premier went on to acknowledge Harper’s statement of apology to former students of residential schools in 2008, something Notley said was “an important step on the road to healing and reconciliation with Canada’s Indigenous peoples.”

“On behalf of the Alberta government and the people of our province, I would like to thank Mr. Harper for his years of public service, and wish him and his family well,” the premier said in her release.

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