Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper Targets Justin Trudeau in Speech to Supporters in Calgary

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Stephen Harper Targets Justin Trudeau in Speech to Supporters in Calgary

Article excerpt

PM touts record in speech to supporters


CALGARY - Prime Minister Stephen Harper hammered Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in a speech to party faithful at his annual Calgary Stampede barbecue on Saturday.

With a federal election looming next year, Harper accused Trudeau of having nothing substantial to offer to voters, contrasting the Conservative government's accomplishments with the Liberals' positions on the economy and crime.

Mention of Trudeau elicited boos from the crowd, which included federal cabinet ministers and provincial politicians.

Harper's speech made scant mention of the Opposition New Democrats and didn't single out NDP leader Tom Mulcair by name.

Harper said the economy is "rock solid" in a fragile global environment and his government has created jobs, lowered taxes and increased trade agreements with other countries, including the European Union.

"The opposition will say now's the time to spend and spend and spend, but next year we will use the fiscal room to do what we promised: cut taxes for hard working Canadian families. That's our priority," Harper said.

Harper said through the years all of the agreements were opposed by the NDP and although the Liberals announced in the 1970s they wanted free trade with Europe "They never even got to the bargaining table."

The prime minister said both the Liberals and NDP offer the alternative of spending without any fiscal responsibility.

"Never, ever cut any spending; Spend more, now and always; let the deficit rise, increase taxes. You can look around the world at any number of basket cases to see how that works out."

The prime minister said he is particularly proud of the progress made in implementing the Conservative agenda to ensure streets and communities are safe.

"And if, God forbid, Canadians are attacked, or robbed, if they lose someone they love to a murderer, or if they see their children driven to suicide by bullying and harassment. …

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