Laureen Teskey Harper was born in 1963 in Turner Valley, a rural town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, southwest of Calgary. Her parents, Barbara and Dennis Teskey, were ranchers and tradesmen, and owned an electrical contracting company.
Growing up, she developed a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a concern for the proper care of animals. The Teskey home was always a safe refuge for stray pets and animals in need. This didn’t end when her family moved to Ottawa; 24 Sussex Drive, the official residence of the Prime Minister and his family, is often a foster home to kittens waiting to be adopted from the Ottawa Humane Society.
Laureen studied photography and graphic arts at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, and ran a successful graphic arts business in Calgary for many years. She still fosters her love of photography and art in her spare time. Married since 1993, Laureen and Stephen Harper have two energetic teenagers. Their son Benjamin was born in 1996, and their daughter Rachel in 1999.
Laureen is a generous volunteer and supporter of important community and national causes. Known for her volunteer work with Humane Societies across the country, she is also a strong advocate for anti-bullying initiatives, including the Canadian Centre for Child Protection’s NeedHelpNow campaign and their cybertip.ca initiative. Additionally, Laureen dedicates her time to working with the National Arts Centre, the Trans Canada Trail, the Red Cross, the True Patriot Love Foundation, Soles4Souls, and the various youth mental health initiatives.