INDEPTH: CONSERVATIVE PARTY|
The Conservative leader
CBC News Online | Updated Dec. 8, 2004
Stephen Harper, leader of the federal Conservative party, was a founding member of the Reform party, the predecessor of the Canadian Alliance, and went on to become leader of the Alliance. He was a key policy maker in the earlier years of the Reform party, but left the party after a rift with leader Preston Manning. He has a BA and an MA in economics from the University of Calgary.
(CP PHOTO/Fred Chartrand)
- 1959 - Born in Toronto, Ont., and grew up in
Leaside and Etobicoke.
- 1978 - Graduates from high school and moves
to Alberta to work in the oil fields.
- 1985 - Earns his BA in economics from the
University of Calgary. Takes a position as
executive assistant to Jim Hawkes, the Tory
MP for Calgary West.
- 1986 - Leaves that job after what Preston
Manning called "profound disillusionment"
with the federal Progressive Conservative
- 1987 - Presents Manning with a paper he
co-wrote called Political Reform and the
Taxpayer at the Reform Association's
Western Assembly on Canada's Economic and
Political Future. Manning invites him to make
a speech at the founding convention of the
Reform party later that year, and makes him
his chief policy officer.
- 1988 - Runs against Hawkes in Calgary West
in the federal election, and loses by 23,000
- 1991 - Earns his MA in economics from the
University of Calgary. Marries Laureen Teskey,
a graphic designer. The couple would go on to
have two children: Benjamin and Rachel.
- 1993 - Runs against Hawkes again and wins.
Serves as the party's critic for finance and
- 1997 - Leaves Parliament to lead the National
Citizens Coalition, a right-wing lobby group,
after a falling out with Manning.
- 1998 - A group of conservative business
people, the Blue Committee, tries to
persuade Harper to run for leadership of the
Progressive Conservatives. He declines.
- 2000 - At the leadership convention for the
new Canadian Alliance party, Harper votes for
Tom Long on the first ballot and Stockwell
Day on the second.
- 2002 - Wins the leadership of the Canadian
Alliance party after Day steps down. Manning
retires from politics, making way for Harper to
win the Calgary Southwest riding in a
Deputy leader Peter MacKay:
(CP PHOTO/Jonathan Hayward)
On March 22, 2004 newly elected Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper appointed Peter MacKay as the party's new deputy leader.
- 1966 - Born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
- 1987 - Graduates from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
- 1990 - Earns a law degree from Dalhousie Law School and focuses on criminal and family law.
- 1991 - Called to the Nova Scotia Bar.
- 1992 to 1993 - Works for Thyssen Henschel in Kassell, Germany.
- 1993 - Returns to Nova Scotia and becomes a Crown attorney.
- Jun. 2, 1997 - Running as a Progressive Conservative, he is elected MP for Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough, a riding in northeastern Nova Scotia. Named Tory House leader.
- Nov. 2000 - Re-elected MP for Pictou-Antigonish-Guysborough
- 1997-2002 - MacKay as justice critic and Tory House leader, MacKay acts as a member of the Board of Internal Economy and the standing committee on justice and human rights. He also acts as associate member of the standing committees on Canadian Heritage and Finance, and member of the sub-committee on the Study of Sport in Canada.
- Nov. 2002 - Resigns as house leader in order to run for the Progressive Conservative leadership.
- Jan. 16, 2003 - Announces intention to run for PC leadership.
- May 31, 2003 - Voted leader of Canada's federal Progressive Conservative party.