This is the oldest story I could find in which Stephen Harper claims he is writing a book about hockey. It’s dated April 13, 2006:
PM visits Alberta base to reaffirm support for Forces and Afghanistan mission
Canadian Press Newswire
Thu Apr 13 2006
Section: National General News
Byline: BY JOHN COTTER
WAINWRIGHT, Alta. (CP) – Prime Minister Stephen Harper used a graduating ceremony for fresh-faced army recruits Thursday to emphasize his government’s support for the military and its mission in Afghanistan.
In a cavernous drill hall festooned with signs depicting past Canadian battle honours, Harper acted as reviewing officer as the unit of about 50 troops marched past bleachers filled with their family and friends.
Harper compared the service of troops in Kandahar to the sacrifices made by Canadians in the two world wars.
…Later Thursday, Harper took his young son to a NHL Calgary Flames hockey game.
The prime minister was careful not to give a prediction on who will win the Stanley Cup.
“I will get people more upset about my hockey opinions than any of my political opinions, but now that I’m in Calgary, how about this: I give the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators pretty good chances of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Harper, who had seats in the crowd, not in a private box, said he’s been working on a hockey book on professional hockey in the city of Toronto in the early 1900s.
“I’ve had an interest in hockey history since I was a boy and in the last few years I’ve used it as a kind of an escape form the pressures of the job.”
He said he had hoped to have it published by the end of this year but “since January 23rd, I’ve been spending a little less time on it than before, so we’ll see.”
It’s a half-decade later, and the book remains unpublished. I find that odd. I’m not a busy Prime Minister, of course, but I have a pretty busy firm, four busy kids, and lead a busy life. And, since late October, I’ve written 55,000 words for my new book, which Random House is publishing in the Fall. I don’t have 1,500 communications assistants to help me research the book, like Harper does. Oh, and I’ve written three books in the time that Harper’s been “writing” his.
Part of my book is about how Harper has consciously (and cynically) sought out the Tim’s-drinking, Afghanistan-war-supporting, hockey Dad demographic, even though he seems to be faking it.
If anyone else has an earlier reference to Harper’s hockey book, which I am getting closer to calling “bullshit” about, please send it along.
As such, you can consider yourself one of my research assistants. And I will name you and thank you in my book.
Which is coming out.