Harper says Conservatives must reach out to Quebec
Prime Minister takes jabs at Liberals and NDP during Calgary Stampede barbecue
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told party faithful Saturday that the party must do more to win the confidence of Quebecers.
"And friends, that door will open," Harper told a tent packed with Conservative MPs and supporters.
Harper said he expects Quebec's support of the NDP to fade fast.
"As many provinces know well, no honeymoon passes as quickly and as completely as one with the NDP."
Many in the cowboy-hat-wearing crowd, attending a western themed barbecue to coincide with the Calgary Stampede, frequently rose to applaud Harper as he fired jab after jab at the opposition parties.
The prime minister also unloaded on the Liberals who were reduced to third-party status in the election.
"I believe the long Liberal era is genuinely, truly ending. As with disco balls and bell bottoms, Canadians have moved on," Harper said to laughter and applause.
He said his party is moving Canada in a Conservative direction, and Canadians are following.
"Conservative values are Canadian values. Canadian values are conservative values. They always were," Harper said.
"And Canadians are going back to the party that most closely reflects who they really are: The Conservative Party, which is Canada's party."
Earlier in the day, Harper and his wife Laureen took in a show-jumping event in Calgary. And the good vibes from Prince William and Kate's visit seemed to carry over to the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows where Governor General David Johnston was the royal representative.
Canadian star Eric Lamaze defeated Rich Fellers of the U.S. in a jump off, to win the event for his fourth time, while veteran Canadian Ian Millar claimed the bronze medal.
Harper said they couldn't have asked for a more perfect day or a better ending than a Canadian winning.
On Sunday, Harper and his wife are scheduled to attend a Stampede Breakfast.