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Stephen Harper shrugs off Tory radio attack ads

The Story

No election has been called for the spring of 1992, but the federal Progressive Conservatives are on the attack. They've started buying radio ad time in Ontario, a province in which Reform holds no seats, to urge Reform supporters to begin questioning "all that hot air" they're hearing from the party. CBC political correspondent Don Newman has two guests to talk about the ads and their possible effects: Progressive Conservative campaign co-chair John Tory, followed by the Reform Party's head of research, Stephen Harper.

Medium: Television
Program: Saturday Report
Broadcast Date: Apr. 25, 1992
Reporter: Don Newman
Guests: John Tory, Stephen Harper
Duration: 11:51

Did You know?

• The first radio ads referenced in this 1992 news report were heard in Barrie and Orillia, Ont. and surrounding areas. According to the Globe and Mail, research showed that the region's mix of rural and urban voters closely mirrored the target demographic of the Reform party. One version of the ad suggested that Reform had a hidden agenda.

• The Reform Party of Canada was formed in 1987 and Preston Manning was its first leader. The party elected one member in a 1989 byelection, then had a breakthrough in 1993 to become the official Opposition with 52 seats, all of them in Western Canada. Stephen Harper was elected as the member from Calgary West and became the party's critic for finance and national unity.

• Harper quit the House of Commons in 1997 to become the head of the National Citizens Coalition. In 2000, the Reform Party dissolved and became a new party called the Canadian Alliance under leader Stockwell Day. Harper re-entered electoral politics in 2001 when he became a candidate for the leadership of the Canadian Alliance, which he won. Under his watch, the party merged with the Progressive Conservatives in 2003 to become the Conservative Party of Canada.


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