OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to address his MPs in a public speech Monday that seeks to reassure supporters that Conservatives will continue to govern as the unofficial 2015 election campaign kicks off.
On Parliament’s first day back from summer break, Harper’s speech at the Ottawa Convention Centre will focus on the economy including job creation, as well as touch on international issues such as the crisis in Iraq, according to a senior government source.
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“The major priority for the government will be job creation and economic growth,” Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan said in an interview with Global News.
“Job creation has to be our top priority, and you’ll see that legislatively,” he said, referring to the government’s Red Tape Reduction Act, which he said will reduce the administrative burden on small- and medium-sized businesses.
Officials with the Prime Minister’s Office say they are expecting a “significant number” of people as both caucus members and Conservative supporters have been invited to attend Harper’s speech. The event is also open to the media.
The speech is a sure sign the election campaign is underway, after both Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair held summer caucus retreats to talk strategy and strengths in Edmonton this summer.
The election is scheduled for October 2015, although Harper could call it earlier after the spring budget.
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