On Thursday, Stephen Harper gave his first speech since stepping down as leader of the Conservative Party.
The former prime minister addressed about 2,000 delegates at the Tories' policy convention in Vancouver, thanking his family, his staff, his caucus, and party loyalists for the roles they've played in building the modern-day Conservative movement.
As Harper stepped on stage, a screen displayed a hashtag that supporters could use to thank him on social media.
At first, some Tory MPs and supporters sent out tweets using the #ThankYouStephenHarper tag:
I'm proud to be a Stephen Harper conservative #ThankYouStephenHarper— Frank Parker (@fparker7) May 27, 2016
#ThankyouStephenHarper A great party leader and great PM, now its time for the party to reform and move forward.— John (@jpime) May 27, 2016
But, as some users predicted, the hashtag was quickly hijacked:
#thankyoustephenharper for holding Canada back 10 years on climate change.— David Simms (@DaveSimms) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper for your great judgement call with appointments. Duffy, Wallin, Brazeau, Porter, DelMastro, Carson, Penashue, Wright— FuzzyWuzzy (@FuzzyWuzzyTO) May 27, 2016
The hashtag was still trending on Friday morning:
#ThankyouStephenHarper for inspiring me to become involved in politics. Your secretive, anti-democratic, ideology based style woke me up.— Laura B. (@LauraE303B) May 27, 2016
#ThankYouStephenHarper for turning the act of filling out the census a passionate act of patriotism.— petefree (@wihaks) May 27, 2016
Wow. That #ThankYouStephenHarper sure went off the rails, didn't it? 😂— Isabel Jordan (@seastarbatita) May 27, 2016
The Tories are gathered in Vancouver for a three-day review of their policies and constitution and will select a new leader in 2017.
With files from The Canadian Press
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