Ahead of Justin Trudeau’s announcement of his cabinet, Stephen Harper has officially resigned from his long-held position as the Prime Minister of Canada.
Nearly a decade of Conservative rule has ended with Liberal leader Justin Trudeau set to be sworn in as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister this morning.
Over the past decade Canada has seen its economy grow and shrink, its citizens head overseas for a handful of military conflicts, and experienced controversies ranging from corruption in the Senate to the elimination of the long form census.
On his last day as the nation’s Prime Minister, Harper sent a ‘thank you’ letter to the federal government’s public servants, even though there were deep tensions between the Conservative government and the bureaucracy. Here is the letter in full:
Over the last nine years my team and I have worked very closely with the Public Service of Canada to improve the prosperity, security and well-being of Canadians and improve Canada’s position in the world.
I am very proud of the remarkable work we have accomplished together towards meeting these objectives. I would like to thank each and every one of you for the support you have shown my team and me over three successive parliaments and for the dedication you have demonstrated in delivering for Canadians.
It has been an honour to serve as Prime Minister of the greatest country in the world and I will always be grateful for the support of Canada’s world-class public service.
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Many are calling on their fellow Canadians to remember Harper for his service to his country, while others are simply happy to see him go.
Moving trucks were seen outside 24 Sussex Drive, the Prime Minister’s residence, over the past few weeks after the election. However, Harper’s successor has no plans to move into the 149-year-old residence: Trudeau and his family have moved into Rideau Cottage on the grounds of Rideau Hall, the Governor General’s residence.
24 Sussex is in desperate need of a major renovation, a project that could cost more than $10 million. Repairs include new windows, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical wiring as well as the installation of fire sprinklers and the clearing of asbestos.