For the record, a transcription of Conservative Leader Stephen Harper’s remarks Oct. 19 at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary:
Merci beaucoup, tout le monde. Thank you, everyone. Thanks for that tremendous welcome. I can tell you that for Laureen, Ben, Rachel and me, after 11 weeks, it feels very good to be with you here in our home, in our Calgary. And a special welcome to all of those who are here tonight from the great riding of Calgary Heritage. In a moment, friends, I’ll have a little bit more to say about that, but first, I wish to address all Canadians.
Laureen et moi avons embrassé la vie publique parce que nous croyons que les Canadiens et Canadiennes qui travaillent fort devraient conserver plus de l’argent qu’ils gagnent.
Laureen and I entered public life because we believe that hardworking Canadians should keep more of the money they earn, because we believe – because we believe that governments should manage the people’s money the way people manage their own, because – because, friends, we believe that in a dangerous world Canada must, without apology, advance our values, defend our interests and stand by our friends. We have championed those values all of our public lives.
Pendant les dernières neuf années et demi, j’ai eu l’honneur incroyable de servir comme votre Premier ministre.
During the past nine and a half years, it has been an unbelievable honour to serve as your Prime Minister, a great – and it has been a great experience to again meet Canadians from coast to coast to coast during the last two and a half months of this campaign.
Nous avons tout mis en jeu. Nous avons donné tout ce que nous avions à donner et nous ne regrettons absolument rien.
We put it all on the line. We gave everything we have to give, and we have no regrets whatsoever. Friends, how could we? We remain citizens of the best country on Earth.
Friends, our country is one of the most enduring democracies in the world today, and today, for the 42nd time in 148 years, Canadians have chosen a national Parliament. While tonight’s result is certainly not the one we had hoped for, the people are never wrong.
La population canadienne a élu un gouvernement libéral, un résultat que nous acceptons sans aucune hésitation.
Canadians have accepted a Liberal – have elected a Liberal government, a result we accept without hesitation. I have spoken, friends, to Mr. Trudeau and offered him my congratulations, all of our congratulations on his successful campaign. And I have assured him of my full co-operation during the process of transition in the coming days.
I also want to extend – I know we also want to extend all of our congratulations to Mr. Mulcair, Ms. May and Mr. Duceppe on their campaigns.
To all Canadians of every stripe in every corner of our country, victorious or not, I salute you. Your efforts help keep our democracy strong.
To the constituents of Calgary Heritage, thank you. Thank you for renewing your support for me once again. This is the seventh mandate you have given me, and it remains a true privilege to serve the people of this vibrant city in the Parliament of Canada.
Dear friends, there are so many people who deserve credit for the work that goes into a national campaign, and at the top of that list, of course, are my family — Laureen, Ben and Rachel. I love you more than you can imagine, and I have depended on you a great deal not just in these past 79 days, but for a long time before that. I hope you will always know that without you none of this would be possible, but with you everything is. Thank you.
Je remercie aussi mon équipe de campagne partout au pays.
I also want to thank our campaign team, all of those with us on the road, at our national headquarters in Ottawa and in Calgary Heritage and 337 other electoral district associations across this country. Our party, friends, is a grassroots organization, and it is only because of our devoted staff and the thousands upon thousands of loyal members and volunteers that our party has been able to spread its message.
Et ce soir on a fait élire une opposition officielle forte dans le Parlement du Canada.
And tonight, friends, we have been able to elect a strong Official Opposition to the Parliament of Canada.
For all of those who have, over the past decade and a half, built our party and contributed to our campaign, you have our deepest gratitude, and you should feel nothing but pride. Know also this as well: the disappointment you also feel is my responsibility and mine alone. But know this for certain: when the next time comes, this party will offer Canadians a strong and clear alternative based on our Conservative values.
Et nous allons offrir cette alternative comme un parti qui a établi une base solide et durable y compris au Québec.
Friends, never forget, never forget that due to your efforts our country stands tall today. We have built a Canada that is stronger than ever. Our economy is growing and new jobs are being created. The budget is balanced, and federal taxes are at their lowest in 50 years. We – we are poised to seize the opportunities that come with free trade access to Europe, to the Americas and now to the Asia-Pacific. Our men and women in uniform have the tools to do the jobs and the steadfast support of their fellow citizens.
Le Canada est en sécurité et plus uni que jamais.
And friends, in a dangerous world, we have stood consistently for freedom, democracy and justice. This is the Canada we Conservatives have been building since the time of Sir John A. Macdonald, and this is the Canada to which, for the countless generations to come, we will be dedicated.
Thank you again, friends, all of you for all your support, for all you have done for our country.
Please say a little prayer for our men and women in uniform. God bless all of you. God bless Canada.