Stephen Harper says farewell to party post, but says will stay connected

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OTTAWA — Former prime minister Stephen Harper has left his role with the chief fundraising arm of the federal Conservative party, but says he still intends to play a role with the party itself.

Harper posted a rare comment on party politics to his Twitter account, thanking the Conservative Fund for its hard work and saying its efforts have been “unparalleled” over the years.

He says he looks forward to ongoing collaboration with the Conservatives through his work as chair of the International Democratic Union, an alliance of centre-right political parties around the world.

The Conservative Fund was set up following the merger of the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance in 2003 to keep financial issues at arm’s length from the party’s governing national council.

It became a fundraising juggernaut, with its efforts routinely outpacing those of other federal parties.

But how it was using the money was called into question last year when it emerged that a stipend being given to party leader Andrew Scheer to cover his personal costs was being used to pay private school tuition for his children.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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