Former prime minister Stephen Harper will leave federal politics

He's expected to speak to Conservatives at their Vancouver convention

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      This morning, CBC News reported that Stephen Harper plans to resign his seat in Parliament by the fall.

      Harper was re-elected as a Conservative MP in Calgary Heritage in October but his party was soundly defeated by the Liberals.

      On Thursday (May 26), Harper is expected to speak at the Conservatives' convention in Vancouver.

      On election night, Harper stepped down as party leader. He's been replaced on an interim basis by Edmonton-area MP Rona Ambrose.

      Harper was Canada's 22nd prime minister, lasting nearly 10 years in this position from 2006 until 2015. 

      Three books released during the Harper era shone an unflattering light on the former Conservative prime minister.

      Ottawa journalist Lawrence Martin's Harperland: The Politics of Control painted him as a controlling, secretive, and often mean-spirited micromanager.

      Martin also exposed how Harper was obsessed with destroying the Liberal Party of Canada and the legacy of its former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau.

      SFU professor emeritus Donald Gutstein looked at Harper through the prism of Hayekian economics in Harperism: How Stephen Harper and His Think Tank Colleagues Have Transformed Canada. This book made a strong case that Harper was undermining democracy by using the power of the federal government to impose markets where they hadn't existed in the past.

      “He’s gradually moving the country from one that’s based on democracy to one that’s based on the market, which means that the decisions are not made by our duly elected representatives through the laws that they pass and the regulations that they enact,” Gutstein told the Straight in 2014.

      Harperism demonstrated how the market was being applied to environmental policies, immigration, and the government's dealings with First Nations, among other areas. Gutstein also showed why Harper's legacy would be difficult to unravel by any progressive government.

      The third book, Michael Harris's Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada's Radical Makeover, focused on how Harper consolidated control by eliminating and undermining independent watchdogs. It also explored the corruption of some of Harper's cronies and how he viewed environmentalists, scientists, diplomats, and First Nations people.

      Harper was first elected as an MP with the Reform Party of Canada in 1993. He chose not to run for re-election in 1997 and instead became the top official with the ardently right-wing National Citizens Coalition.

      Harper returned to federal politics in 2002, winning the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada. It united the right by merging the former Canadian Alliance with the Progressive Conservatives.