Stephen Joseph Harper (April 30, 1959 - November 17, 2050) was a Canadian politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of Canada from 2006-2017 and again as 24th Prime Minister from 2019-2025. Under Harper, Canada saw an economic renaissance and its emergence in the early 2020s as an economic powerhouse. Harper was Prime Minister during both the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the 2024 Summer Olympics in Toronto. Canada became the world's third-largest energy exporter by the end of his term. Harper also institued instant-runoff voting nationwide.
Though a fiscal and social conservative, Harper presided over a generally leftward move not only in the Canadian economy in non-energy matters as well as the broader acceptance of socially liberal positions. As the central political figure in Canada for twenty years, the first quarter of the 21st century is often known as the "Harper Era," in particular the 2010s. With a slew of appointments to the Senate and Supreme Court, Harper's imprint on Canada lasted long after his retirement. After securing a majority government in 2023, rumors spread in Ottawa that Harper was planning his retirement sometime in 2024. Harper later announced that he would indeed step down mid-term in January of 2025 and gave his final address to the House of Commons before the Christmas holiday. He backed Peter MacKay over Tony Clement, Tim Hudak, John R. Baird and Huy Nguyen. MacKay won on the fourth ballot and became the 25th Prime Minister of Canada.
Harper, after forming two minority governments in 2006 and 2008, won majorities in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2023, making him the only party leader in Canadian history to win six consecutive federal elections. He only lost one election, the 2004 election, giving him a 6-1 record as leader of the Conservative Party. Once in power, he was never defeated at the polls, a record unbroken by any other Canadian political leader in history. Stephen J. Harper International Airport in Calgary is named in his honor.