Harper targets Trudeau in speech

Prime Minister Stephen Harper hammered Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in prepared remarks he gave to the party faithful at his annual Calgary Stampede barbecue.

Harper's speech accused Trudeau of having nothing substantial to offer to voters.

Harper's speech focused on his party's accomplishments over the past year.

Harper said the economy is "rock solid" in a fragile global economy and his government has created jobs, lowered taxes and increased trade agreements with other countries, including the European Union.

"Since coming to office, we have expanded the number of countries with which Canada has trade deals From 5 to 43," said Harper.

"We will have virtually tariff-free access to over half the global economy."

Harper said through the years all of the agreements were opposed by the NDP and although the Liberals announced in the 1970s they wanted free trade with Europe "They never even got to the bargaining table."

The prime minister said both the Liberals and NDP offer the alternative of spending without any fiscal responsibility.

"Spend more, now and always; let the deficit rise, increase taxes. You can look around the world at any number of basket cases to see how that works out."

The prime minister said he is particularly proud of the progress made in implementing the Conservative agenda to ensure streets and communities are safe.

"And if, God forbid, Canadians are attacked, Or robbed, if they lose someone they love to a murderer, or if they see their children driven to suicide by bullying and harassment… the first thing they want their government to do is not make excuses for criminals, but to stick up for victims," Harper said.

Harper said Canadians need to be aware that Justin Trudeau wants to undo all the good work that his government has achieved.

"In fact, Justin Trudeau says he will repeal our reforms. Repeal, for example our mandatory prison sentences for serious, violent crimes," he said.

"In other words, he will restore that key liberal principle of criminal justice...that the offender must be considered innocent even after being found guilty."

Harper said Canadians have to make a choice when they go to the polls next year - what his government has delivered or what Justin Trudeau is offering.

"In somewhat more than a year from now, Canadians will pass judgement on that. Canadians will be asked to choose."

He said the Liberals will offer to give voters anything they want.

"Want something from the government? Whatever you want, they'll spend money on it and you can have it. Don't worry about how it'll be paid for. Don't like crime? Just legalize marijuana and, somehow, it will all just go away."

"He has nothing - absolutely nothing - of substance to offer."



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