At his annual Stampede-week barbecue in his Calgary riding, Saturday, he said that the country will not “slip back” under his leadership.
Harper said measures his government has taken, such as reforming immigration, expanding trade and streamlining environmental reviews, put Canada in a much stronger position than other traditional economic powerhouses like the United States, Europe and Japan.
“New economic powers continue to rise and older ones, ones very much like our own country, continue to struggle. They’re weighed down by debts they can’t control, by entitlements you can no longer afford and growth that shows no signs of returning,” he said.
“Under our conservative government, Canada will not slip back the way so many other developed countries are slipping back,” he said. “To succeed what the world must become in the future is what Canada is today.”
Several members of Harper’s cabinet were among the tent crowd, including Defence Minister Peter McKay, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
A litany of Conservative MPs, senators and Alberta ministers also attended.
Alberta Premier Alison Redford, whose Progressive Conservatives were elected in a majority government this spring, sat next to Harper at the head table.
The room applauded heartily when Redford was introduced, but not as loudly when her rival, Wildrose Party and opposition leader Danielle Smith, was asked to stand.
Ideologically, the federal conservatives are more akin to the right-wing, libertarian Wildrose than they are to Redford’s more “red Tory” progressive conservatives.
In his remarks, Harper touted his party’s record since winning its long-coveted majority government more than a year ago.
He said of 100 campaign promises, 67 had been checked off the list and that his government was well on its way to honouring the rest.
“First we say what we will do and then we go out and we do what we say,” Harper told the energetic crowd.