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Why you don’t hear Harper say ‘God bless Canada’ anymore

By Richard Albert      

As Prime Minister Stephen Harper inches closer toward a majority government, he has erased all religious references from his public speeches, hoping to broaden his appeal to those Canadians who cringe at even the very thought that religion could play any

BOSTON—In the 2004 race to lead to the new Conservative Party, then-candidate Stephen Harper proudly concluded his speeches with “God bless Canada.” Later as opposition leader and then as prime minister in a minority Parliament, Harper, an evangelical Christian, continued to close his public addresses with those three words—until the weeks leading up to last year’s federal election campaign when polls suggested the Conservative Party was on its way to forming its first majority government in nearly a generation. Since then, the phrase has virtually disappeared from Prime Minister Harper’s public vocabulary. But why?

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