Stephen Harper's life in politics

Stephen Harper, who served as prime minister for nearly a decade and all but dropped out of sight after losing the election last year, is bowing out of federal politics. A tribute to the long-serving Conservative Party leader is to be held on Thursday. Here is a look at his time in the public eye.

Take a look at the career of Canada's 22nd prime minister

Stephen Harper is bowing out of federal politics after serving as prime minister for nearly a decade. At his concession speech, delivered in Calgary in October, Harper summed up his defeat with the line: "the people are never wrong."

(Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)

A tribute to Harper will be held Thursday night in Vancouver.

The former prime minister is expected to give a short speech at the Conservative Party's national convention.

Here he is in one of his last high-profile appearances with then prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau. The two laid a wreath marking the one year anniversary of the attack on Parliament Hill on Oct. 22, 2015. 

(Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Harper has kept a low profile since the election.

After the election, Harper, who was re-elected as MP for Calgary Heritage, stepped down as his party's leader. He's avoided public appearances but shows up in the Commons for most votes. *There is a grainy picture of him in the House taken during the #elbowgate incident on May 18.

Here he is sharing a laugh with fellow MP's after a vote in the House in December.

(Sean Kilpatrick/Reuters)

Harper launched his 5th federal election campaign in August 2015.

On a sweltering August long weekend, Harper stood outside Rideau Hall — dressed in Conservative blue — to launch his fifth federal election campaign as Conservative Party leader. He appealed to Canadians to consider his experience as a central issue as they headed to the polls.

(Blair Gable/Reuters)

The 2015 election campaign was one of the longest ever.

Here he is with a copy of his party's platform during a campaign stop in Richmond, B.C., on Oct. 9. The 2015 election campaign, which lasted 11 weeks, or 78 days, was one of the longest in Canada's history.

(Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

He was born in Toronto but represents Calgary.

Although born in Toronto in 1959, Harper's federal political career began in Calgary. He's been the member of Parliament for the riding of Calgary Southwest since 2002. That riding was dissolved and he now represents the riding of Calgary Heritage. Here he is serving chili at the Calgary Military Family Resources Centre on July 7, 2015.

(Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)

Harper was prime minister for nearly a decade.

Harper led the Conservatives for 13 years and saw his party win the first majority government in over a decade in the May 2, 2011 election, with 166 seats. 

(Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty)

From the Reform Party to the Canadian Alliance …

After taking over the Canadian Alliance (formerly the Reform Party) from Stockwell Day, Harper became leader of the Opposition in 2002. A year later, he struck a deal with then Progressive Conservative leader Peter MacKay to form the current Conservative Party of Canada, of which Harper was named leader in 2004. 

(Jim Young/Reuters) (Jim Young/Reuters)

Right after announcing his bid for the leadership of the newly formed Conservatives, Harper got a taste of comedian Mary Walsh's lipstick during an interview with Marg Delahunty, the Princess Warrior. 

(Chris Wattie/Reuters)

The Duffy scandal.

Harper, pictured with Senator Mike Duffy in 2007, has maintained he did not know his former chief of staff Nigel Wright paid the Conservative senator's expenses, but the Senate expense scandal was nonetheless a major irritant for the prime minister.

Duffy was found not guilty on all charges in April.

(Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)

Harper had a Northern strategy.

His summer visits to northern communities, along with boosting our military presence and promoting Arctic tourism, included photo-ops like this one with Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk on an iceberg off Resolute, Nunavut, in 2010. 

(Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Harper is likely headed to the private sector.

On Thursday, CBC News reported that Harper had taken steps to launch his own consulting firm

He lives in Calgary with his wife Laureen and daughter Rachel. His son, Ben, is studying at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont.

(Ivan Alvarado/Reuters) (Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)