Former prime minister Stephen Harper is hitting the international speaking circuit after signing up with the Worldwide Speakers Group, a booking agency specializing in high-profile public speakers.
The group boasts the ability to book a guest speaker on six continents for audiences interested in science, politics, sports, culture and just about any other subject. Harper is being billed as exclusively available through the Worldwide Speakers Group.
Harper's biography on the group's website says Canada's 22nd prime minister will speak on a number of topics in four specific areas:
- 21st century trends — erosion of global stability.
- Living in a low–growth world.
- Growing global trade.
- Foreign policy leadership.
"Prime Minister Harper was known for a frank, assertive leadership style defined by principled diplomacy, disciplined economic policy, a strong stance on international peace and security, and passionate defence of freedom and human dignity," Harper's biography reads.
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Harper's foreign policy experience is noted for what the speakers group says was Canada's ability to "punch above its weight" on the world stage under his leadership.
The group makes specific reference to Harper being the first G7 leader to call for "Vladimir Putin's removal from the G8, telling Putin in person to 'get out of Ukraine' while offering Canadian military and technical support to the Ukrainian government."
The group has a number of famous speakers on its roster, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, Star Trek star William Shatner and 11-time Olympic swimming medallist Mark Spitz.
Former Dragon's Den star Kevin O'Leary, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bob Woodward and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak are also in the stable.
The cost of hiring Harper?
Most of the fees for the speakers are not posted, requiring those interested in booking them to fill out a form detailing the budget of a given event, but both Kasich and Spitz are listed as willing to speak for $15,000 to $25,000 US a pop.
Woodward and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young both command between $40,000 and $60,000 US per speaking engagement.
Justin Trudeau famously ran a successful public speaking business before and, controversially, after entering the House of Commons as an MP, commanding between $10,000 and $20,000 per speech. Trudeau stopped accepting money for speeches once he was elected Liberal leader and offered to pay back the money he earned speaking while serving as an MP.
Harper's listing asks for inquiries before a fee range will be supplied. The Worldwide Speakers Group has not responded to a CBC request regarding the fees.
Since resigning as leader of the Conservatives, Harper has started his own consulting group, Harper & Associates, which this week announced a strategic partnership with Dentons, an international law firm. Harper formally stepped down as an MP last month.
Working out of Denton's Calgary office, Harper will be providing clients with advice on market access, managing political and economic risks around the world and understanding global markets.