Stephen Harper has largely stayed out of public eye since the Conservatives’ electoral defeat in 2015, but late Friday the Conservative Party Twitter account announced a political comeback, of sorts — Harper’s confirmed to speak at the party convention in May.
The man who led the Conservative party for nearly a decade before losing its majority in the 2015 election and resigning the leadership but not his Calgary-Heritage seat in the House has been a quiet presence along the periphery in Ottawa, with reporters treating Harper sightings as if they were spotting a Sasquatch. He hasn’t done an interview since the election.
The topic of Harper’s speech is still to be determined — will it be future of the party? Conservative values? Leadership? What happened in 2015?
It comes as the Conservatives start the process of replacing him, with Kellie Leitch and Maxime Bernier officially filing their papers this week to run for leadership.
It’s also been floated that, in case of emergency, he perhaps could be a leadership contender.
Nonetheless, the announcement puts a premium on the convention as the party starts the process of selecting a new leader, deciding on direction for the future and determining how to best position itself for 2019.