Former Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper speaks at the 2017 American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference in Washington on March 26, 2017. Former prime minister Stephen Harper is reportedly planning a trip to the White House next week, bucking convention by not informing the Canadian government of his visit. CTV says emails they have obtained show U.S. officials are expecting Harper to visit Washington on July 2, one day after Canada’s retaliatory tariffs on imports of a wide range of U.S. goods and as well as steel and aluminum are set to come into effect. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jose Luis Magana

Stephen Harper says farewell to party post, but says will stay connected

Harper said he will be chair of the International Democratic Union

Former prime minister Stephen Harper has left his role with the chief fundraising arm of the federal Conservative party, but says he still intends to play a role with the party itself.

Harper posted a rare comment on party politics to his Twitter account, thanking the Conservative Fund for its hard work and saying its efforts have been “unparalleled” over the years.

He says he looks forward to ongoing collaboration with the Conservatives through his work as chair of the International Democratic Union, an alliance of centre-right political parties around the world.

The Conservative Fund was set up following the merger of the Progressive Conservatives and Canadian Alliance in 2003 to keep financial issues at arm’s length from the party’s governing national council.

It became a fundraising juggernaut, with its efforts routinely outpacing those of other federal parties.

READ MORE: Stephen Harper fundraising pitch used to raise money, for Liberals

But how it was using the money was called into question last year when it emerged that a stipend being given to party leader Andrew Scheer to cover his personal costs was being used to pay private school tuition for his children.

The Canadian Press

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