Ontario: Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Wednesday that Canada needs a ‘Conservative renaissance’ but cautioned Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre to wait until the election before telling people how might he run the country.

Harper delivered a speech to party loyalists at an event organised by the Canada Strong and Free Network, formerly known as the Manning Center.

His public appearance is rare one for Harper, who said goodbye to politics after facing defeat at the hands of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party in 2015 after nine years in power.

Pertinently, it was only after Harper’s support that the wind turned the tide for Poilievre’s election as party leader last September.

Harper said that popularity is also being portrayed in a negative light by the Liberal media and trying to change its meaning. He said the country desperately needed the leadership of the Conservatives.

He reminded the gathering that the modern Conservative Party was able to gain a foothold in western Canada on the strength of popularity and its creation was possible through nationalism in Quebec and the Tories in Ontario.

He said much of the credit for the current form of the Conservative Party goes to Preston Manning, the founder of the Populist Reform Party. Its merger with the Progressive Conservative Party led to the birth of the Conservative Party of Canada. Harper and Manning then shared the stage as well.

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