That's true, though taxpayers will be subsidizing 50% of each party's election costs.
Harper focused heavily on the tumultuous global economy in his speech. He argued it's too risky to put the Canadian economy in the hands of the inexperienced opposition parties. The "not worth the risk" strategy has worked well with Harper in the past.
He also hit on the terrorist group ISIS, which he said poses a direct threat to Canada. Those topics, the economy and security, will likely be the main tentpoles of the Conservative campaign.
“A national election is not a popularity contest," he said.