Prime Minister Stephen Harper joined B.C. Conservative members and around 1,000 people gathered at Senator Gerry St. Germain’s annual barbecue on Monday to bid farewell to the B.C. senator who is stepping down in November after almost two decades in the Senate.
“Gerry was one of the first to play a big role in bringing us together,” Harper praised St. Germain.
Harper, who refused to take questions, offered no comment on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline. It was Harper’s first trip to B.C. since Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal government unveiled five demands that it wants met before it will support the pipeline.
Instead, he opened his 20-minute address with an attack on the NDP, particularly for the $8-billion contract that was announced in January with North Vancouver shipbuilding company Seaspan Marine.
“Never forget friends, that the leader of the NDP criticized B.C. getting this contract,” he said. “But how did British Columbia get this? You earned it fair and square.”
Harper said Canada’s future outlook is positive despite the European debt crisis and he listed crime, healthcare and pension reforms as markers for success.
“Not every one of these measures is easy or as popular with everybody but they are all good for Canada,” he said.
“Canada is not going to fall back the way so many other developed countries have.”