TORONTO (AP) — Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper won his coveted majority government in elections that changed Canada’s political landscape, with the opposition Liberals and Quebec separatists suffering a shattering defeat.
Harper, who took office in 2006, has won two elections but until Monday’s vote had never held a majority of Parliament’s 308 seats, forcing him to rely on the opposition to pass legislation.
While Harper’s hold on Parliament has been tenuous during his five-year tenure, he has managed to nudge an instinctively center-left country to the right. He has gradually lowered sales and corporate taxes, avoided climate change legislation, promoted Arctic sovereignty, upped military spending and extended Canada’s military mission in Afghanistan.
Elections Canada reported results on its website, giving the Conservatives 167 seats, which will give Harper four years of uninterrupted government.
“We are grateful, deeply honored, in fact humbled by the decisive endorsement of so many Canadians,” Harper told elated supporters at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary, Alberta.