Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued the following statement today on the death of former British Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Margaret Thatcher:
“With the passing of Baroness Thatcher, the world has lost a giant among leaders.
“While many in positions of power are defined by the times in which they govern, Margaret Thatcher had that rarest of abilities to herself personify and define the age in which she served. Indeed, with the success of her economic policies, she defined contemporary conservatism itself.
“Her greatest achievements however, were surely on the world stage. Along with the late U.S. President Ronald Reagan, and His Holiness Pope John Paul II, she played a key role in the fall of the USSR. The era of peace and prosperity that followed the end of the Cold War must therefore rank as one of her great and lasting gifts to this generation.
Lady Thatcher’s leadership in time of conflict and during the generous peace she helped bring forth, was an example to the world. As a result, millions now live with the dignity and freedom that she envisioned for them, during the darkest moments of the post-war years.
“She well deserved to be known as ‘The Iron Lady’.
“Canadians knew Mrs. Thatcher well: she addressed Canada’s Parliament twice.
“I recall with pride her eloquent portrayal of the philosophical groundings of the principles that have - and I hope forever will - unite the British and Canadian peoples.
“’The ideals which our two countries share are the answer to all the doubters,” she said. ‘For centuries we have striven first to win, then to preserve, that freedom and justice without which life has neither dignity nor meaning.’
“New to my own duties as Prime Minister in 2006, she provided me wise and gracious counsel in London, the memory of which I will forever cherish.
“Laureen and I join all Canadians in saluting the proud life and legacy of Lady Thatcher.”