It didn’t take long for Rachael Harder to demonstrate her lively entrepreneurial spirit. Writing a business plan at the age of nine to prove to her parents that she was serious about opening a dog kennel and raising puppies was not an unusual demonstration of knowledge and grit for the middle child who grew up with three brothers and one sister.
Growing up on a small farm near Kathyrn, AB proved to be the perfect setting to inspire the young free-marketer to turn her small kennel into a successful eight year venture that covered the cost of four humanitarian trips and funded her post-secondary education.
Hard work pays off was the first significant life lesson that shaped Rachael’s character
Empathy for animals was only surpassed by Rachael’s empathy for people.
At 14 years of age, Rachael felt compelled to contribute to humanity by volunteering for a seven week trip to the Zulu Mountains in South Africa. While her friends and family were enjoying typical summer vacations, Rachael was promoting health education in small remote African villages.
This would be the first of four humanitarian missions Rachael would participate in before she turned 20. Her international experiences formed in her a passion for justice and a deep-seated desire to empower others.
The joy of serving others was the second significant life lesson that shaped Rachael’s character.
Having seen the face of poverty abroad, Rachael gained a profound sense of gratitude for the vast abundance in Canada. The seed of patriotism was planted as Rachael understood at a young age the significance of democracy, freedom, and good governance.
Love of country was the third significant life lesson that shaped Rachael’s character.
Knowing the value of education, Rachael took ownership of her learning. Graduating from Briercrest College with an Associate of Arts Degree in General Social Sciences, Rachael continued to the University of Lethbridge where she earned a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Arts with a General Social Sciences Major in Sociology, Political Science, and Psychology. Rachael designed her education to compliment her future goal of entering public office prepared and qualified.
Preparation and planning are crucial to success is the next significant life lesson that shaped Rachael’s character.
To better understand both the people and the nation she wished to serve, Rachael travelled from one side of the country to the other, working as a Youth and Young Adult Sociologist. Conducting research and consulting with not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions, Rachael interviewed thousands of Canadians over a two year period. Not only was her research valuable to the broader Canadian audience, but the unique opportunity prepared Rachael to better understand the trajectory of the emerging generation and the existing and forthcoming needs of our nation. Her passion for building bridges between generations took her across Canada as a consultant and public speaker and ultimately pulled her into politics.
Engaging with everyday people, while expanding her national perspective was the final piece to building the foundation that led to Rachael’s successful nomination as the Conservative candidate in Lethbridge. Rachael built a formidable network of political activists from every age group, faith and ethnicity in Lethbridge. Together, they achieved victory.
In the 2015 general election, Rachael took a similar relational approach. She participated in more than ten public debates and she and her team knocked on more than 40,000 doors in the Lethbridge riding. Her campaign team was as hard working and diverse as the constituency itself. At the age of 29, Rachael was elected as the first female Member of Parliament for Lethbridge.
Recently named as one of Lethbridge’s “Top 40 Under 40”, Rachael continues to put people first. In her first year, she participated in more than 150 events in the riding, toured dozens of local businesses and met with thousands of voters in the Lethbridge constituency. With the stories people have shared with her, Rachael is able to put a human face to government policies when she speaks in the House of Commons.
- While in Ottawa, Rachael serves in the following capacities:
- Official Opposition Critic for Youth and Persons with Disabilities
- Official Opposition Deputy Critic for Health
- Member of the Standing Committee on Health
- Member of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women
Since a balanced life consists of more than just work, Rachael also enjoys a number of leisure activities. In addition to spending time with family and friends, Rachael enjoys competing in the Lethbridge Rotary Dragon Boat Festival at Henderson Lake and looks for opportunities to enjoy the unique beauty of this region by walking in the coulees or camping in the Rockies whenever possible. A big fan of a properly crafted cup of coffee – a good cup is never far from her hands.