Peter MacKay enters Conservative leadership race
Joshua Freeman, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 15, 2020 12:22PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 15, 2020 4:58PM EST
Peter MacKay has thrown his name in the race to replace Andrew Scheer as leader of the federal Conservative Party.
The former federal Conservative cabinet minister officially announced his entry into the party's leadership race with a simple tweet Wednesday:
“I’m in. Stay tuned,” MacKay tweeted.
MacKay was a longtime MP from Nova Scotia and held multiple high-level portfolios in the government of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, serving variously as defence minister, attorney general and justice minister.
MacKay was also instrumental in the 2003 merger of the former federal Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance to form the current Conservative Party of Canada.
MacKay, 54, has been out of federal politics since 2015. He is married to human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam and the couple have three children together.
His entry adds some strong name recognition to the contest to replace Scheer, who agreed to step down as party leader following a disappointing showing in last year’s federal election.
Following the loss, MacKay was critical of Scheer, particularly his social conservative views which he said were a “stinking albatross” around the leader’s neck.
A leadership convention is set to take place on June 27 in Toronto.
So far, CTV News has confirmed that Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole are running as well. Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu has also said she is running.
Jean Charest, who was once leader of the federal PC Party and went on to become premier of Quebec as a Liberal, is also rumored to be eyeing a run at the leadership.
Potential candidates must meet a number of requirements by various deadlines in order to take part. The first hurdle is 1,000 signatures from party members and a $25,000 payment, due by Feb. 27.