07/08/2012 03:43 EDT | Updated 09/07/2012 05:12 EDT

Harper touts party record at annual Stampede barbecue

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says Canada's economy will continue to stay strong even as other developed countries struggle.

Harper addressed hundreds of Conservative supporters in Calgary at his annual Stampede barbeque Saturday evening and touted his party’s record since winning a majority government more than a year ago.

He said measures his government has taken, such as expanding trade, cutting subsidies for political parties and streamlining environmental reviews, have put Canada in a much stronger position than other traditional economic powerhouses like the United States, Europe and Japan.

"Not every one of these measures is popular with everybody, but they are good for Canada, and that's what this is all about. Under our Conservative government, Canada will not slip back the way so many other developed countries are slipping back."

Harper said he's determined Canada will avoid the long-term problems facing economies in other industrialized nations.

"New economic powers continue to rise and older ones very much like our own country continue to struggle. They're weighed down, as you see on the news, they're weighed down by debts they can't seem to control, entitlements they can no longer afford, and growth that shows no signs of returning," he said. "In Canada it's different."

Harper touted the 2012 federal budget, saying that it will help erase the deficit by 2015 and keep Canada's public debt the lowest among the G7 countries.

Several members of Harper’s cabinet were among the tent crowd, including Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

A litany of Conservative MPs, senators and Alberta ministers also attended.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford, whose Progressive Conservatives were elected in a majority government this spring, sat next to Harper at the head table.