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Stephen Joseph Harper PC MP (born April 30, 1959) is the twenty-second and current Prime Minister of Canada, and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became Prime Minister after his party won a minority government in the January 2006 federal election. He is the first Prime Minister from the newly amalgamated Conservative Party, following twelve years of government by the Liberal Party. Harper is the first Canadian prime minister born in the second half of the twentieth century. Harper is the first Canadian prime minister to prorogue Parliament in order to avoid a vote of confidence in the House.