CALGARY - Prime Minister Stephen Harper hammered Liberal leader Justin Trudeau in a speech to party faithful at his annual Calgary Stampede barbecue on Saturday.
With a federal election looming next year, Harper accused Trudeau of having nothing substantial to offer to voters, contrasting the Conservative government's accomplishments with the Liberals' positions on the economy and crime.
Mention of Trudeau elicited boos from the crowd, which included federal cabinet ministers and provincial politicians.
Harper's speech made scant mention of the Opposition New Democrats and didn't single out NDP leader Tom Mulcair by name.
Harper said the economy is "rock solid" in a fragile global environment and his government has created jobs, lowered taxes and increased trade agreements with other countries, including the European Union.
"The opposition will say now's the time to spend and spend and spend, but next year we will use the fiscal room to do what we promised: cut taxes for hard working Canadian families. That's our priority," Harper said.
Harper said through the years all of the agreements were opposed by the NDP and although the Liberals announced in the 1970s they wanted free trade with Europe "They never even got to the bargaining table."
The prime minister said both the Liberals and NDP offer the alternative of spending without any fiscal responsibility.
"Never, ever cut any spending; Spend more, now and always; let the deficit rise, increase taxes. You can look around the world at any number of basket cases to see how that works out."
The prime minister said he is particularly proud of the progress made in implementing the Conservative agenda to ensure streets and communities are safe.
"And if, God forbid, Canadians are attacked, or robbed, if they lose someone they love to a murderer, or if they see their children driven to suicide by bullying and harassment… the first thing they want their government to do is not make excuses for criminals, but to stick up for victims," Harper said.
Harper said Canadians need to be aware that Trudeau wants to undo all the good work that his government has achieved.
"In fact, Justin Trudeau has said he will repeal our reforms. Repeal, for example our mandatory prison sentences for serious, violent crime," he said.
"In other words, I like to describe it this way: he will restore that key liberal principle of criminal justice...that the offender must be considered innocent even after being proved guilty."
Harper said Canadians have to make a choice when they go to the polls next year - what his government has delivered or what Justin Trudeau is offering.
"In somewhat more than a year from now, Canadians will pass judgement on that. Canadians will be asked to choose."
He said the Liberals will offer to give voters anything they want.
"Want something from the government? Whatever you want, they'll spend money on it and you can have it. Don't worry about who's going to pay for it. Don't like crime? Just legalize marijuana and, somehow, it will all go away."
"He has nothing - absolutely nothing - of substance to offer."
Trudeau and two of his children took in the Calgary Stampede parade on Friday before heading to the rodeo. He told reporters he's optimistic the Liberals can win over Albertans, despite their failure to snag two Alberta seats that were up for grabs in recent byelections.
Earlier Saturday, Harper served pancakes at the Stampede breakfast at the Chinook Centre mall — the largest breakfast during the 10-day cowboy festival that attracts about 50,000 people.
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Crowds gather to watch the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Young buckaroos make ther way to the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Parade Marshall William Shatner waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014. T
Moms and their children attend the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Tourists from Taiwan take in the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper poses with people dressed as horses at the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau greets the crowd as he attends the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Parade Marshall William Shatner waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper attends the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau attends the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, meets Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, left, and his daughter Ella-Grace while attending the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, right, and his Laureen, far left, watch a fireworks display while attending the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is seen through a wagon wheel as he attends the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi waves to the crowd during the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
Members of the RCMP march in the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
A vintage car carries dignitaries during the Calgary Stampede parade, Friday, July 4, 2014.
NEXT: Amazing Facts About The Calgary Stampede
The number of people who will stand, sit or kneel along the parade route to take in the show. According to the Stampede, that’s more cowboys and cowgirls than take in the rodeo, Rangeland Derby and Grandstand Show combined over all 10 days of the Calgary Stampede.
The number of people who will watch the parade regionally and nationally on television.
He's A Natural
This year's parade marshal, William Shatner, knows his way around horses. Shatner raises American Saddlebreds, a breed dating back to the American Revolution. Shatner rode his mare, Great Belles of Fire, when he played Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations. "I really am into horses....I ride and compete <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-sterling/william-shatner-at-almost_b_4591983.html" target="_blank">looking for a blue ribbon</a>," he told HuffPost earlier this year.
The time it takes for the parade to pass any one point on the route.
The number of horses that take part in the parade.
The number of humans who participate as part of the Calgary Stampede parade's 167 entries.
The amount of manure animals will create throughout the course of the parade.
The length of time some Stampede volunteers have been helping organize the parade.
To celebrate the 50 year anniversary in 1962, the Stampede procured Dale Evans and Roy Rogers to ride in the parade.
The amount of people the first ever Stampede parade, which at the time was called Frontier Days and Cowboy Championship. Attendance for the ‘country fair’ clocked in at 100,294, double Calgary’s population at that time.
The height that Stampede floats must not exceed – otherwise they’d get stuck under Calgary’s Plus 15 walk way system.
The time the day before the Stampede parade that spectators have been known to camp out along the route in order to get a good seat.
Continue through for photos of the 2013 Calgary Stampede parade.
Great sign at the #Calgary #Stampede parade!
Chris Hadfield on the route
One horsepower - Jag and I are ready to ride!
The Outriders are down at the Stampede Parade this morning
@Premier_Redford gets on her horse, Butch -- she's ready to ride + this parade is about to start!
Chris Hadfield: the only guy here more popular than Nenshi.
Cowboy hats instantly make cops 100% hotter. #stampede
Fever of #stampede. Ppl going to observe the parade. #stampede101
The star of the show has arrived = Chris Hadfield.
Nenshi is ready to start the #StampedeParade
I guess these seats are saved?!? #stampedeparade #stampede
#awesome line dancing by the chinook country line dancing club! #stampede is here! Yeehaw!!!!
Something you never see in Toronto..Calgary Police on #Stampede Parade route giving kids photo ops on the motorbikes.
People begin to line the parade route
Roughly 250,000 people expected to take in #Stampede101 parade
Here we go Hell or High Water
Kinda love the teepees on the Bow. Brilliant!
She's a way better rider than I am! Great to see @premier_redford at the parade!
PM Stephen Harper awaits the beginning of the #Stampede101 parade.
Calgary, stand up. Your first responders' passing.