10 things you might not know about Prime Minister Stephen Harper

He’s an aspiring author …
Everyone knows the Prime Minister loves hockey. A consummate hockey dad, he can often be seen cheering Ben on at local rinks or joining his son in the stands for the occasional NHL match-up. But his passion for the game goes much further – right into the pages of a book he’s currently writing on the early history of professional hockey.

He’s a big curling fan …
Hockey isn’t the only ice sport to capture the Prime Minister’s passion. The PM has been a long-time follower of major curling events. He has attended the Brier and – a number of times prior to taking office – planned business and leisure travel around ensuring he could take in the national championship.

He’s been employed by some of the country’s biggest newspapers …
Much has been made over the Prime Minister’s well-scrutinized relationship with the Parliamentary Press Gallery. But he brings more than just media savvy to that game; the PM has actually worked for three of Canada’s largest newspapers: the Globe and Mail, the now-defunct Toronto Telegram and the Toronto Star. As a boy, he had his own paper routes in Leaside and Central Etobicoke.

He can rock …
Public praise is music to the ears of many politicians but for Prime Minister Harper, classic rock’s more his taste – with a particular bent for the Beatles and Blue Rodeo. His love of music wasn’t lost on Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk who, during a meeting in Gdansk earlier this year, presented the PM with an original vinyl version of Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk.

He can sing (sort of) …
An activist by nature, the Prime Minister isn’t content to let others do all the singing. He won’t hesitate to lend a voice when warranted. The PM eagerly participates in karaoke with family and friends … and freely admits that politics was, by far, the better career choice.

He plays piano (even better) …
The PM’s musical talents don’t stop with singing. He taught himself to play piano, eventually making it to Grade 9 with the Royal Conservatory of music, and seldom passes by a piano without sitting down – if even for a short tune.

He’s learning to speak Spanish …
The Prime Minister learned to speak French fluently as an adult. Lesser known is his ongoing study of Spanish – put to work during a recent visit with President Bachelet of Chile.

He loves movies …
Though the office leaves his free time extremely limited, Prime Minister Harper loves to take in a movie with Ben and Rachel when he can. His cinematic tastes are wide ranging. Among his favourites are Raising Arizona, Lost in Translation and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

And cats …
Sharing a mutual love of cats from the moment they met, the Harpers have fostered felines at 24 Sussex, advocating strongly for the good work of the SPCA and Humane Society, and enjoying their companionship.

And collections …
Focused and resolved, Prime Minister Harper is known for keeping his head in the game – from hockey to politics. However, he still enjoys the odd diversion. The PM previously collected coins, owns numerous atlases and currently houses a large library of hockey books.

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