Peter MacKay announces he won’t seek Conservative leadership in vote this September

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Peter MacKay says he will not seek the leadership of the Conservative party when one is chosen this September.

MacKay announced the news in a video message posted to social media on Saturday, saying he came to the decision after consulting with friends, colleagues and family.

The cabinet minister in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government placed second to former leader Erin O’Toole in 2020, and noted in the video that he’s still paying off debt from that contest.

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I would like to express profound appreciation to the hundreds of Canadians, friends, colleagues and supporters who have reached out and contacted me over the past month encouraging me to once again enter the leadership race. Your words and pledges of support were heartening and what made this decision so difficult. I sincerely thank you. After broad consultation and consideration I have come to the decision that I will not be putting my name forward in the 2022 leadership selection process for the Conservative Party of Canada. As a believer in fiscal and personal responsibility I remain committed to settling my 2020 leadership campaign debt before embarking on another run. With unforeseen and a last minute two-month extension of the 2020 campaign by the LEOC; and personal security requirements due to death threats against my family, we had cost overruns. Yet with the help of several dedicated volunteers and generous Canadians we hope to retire the debt. I also appreciate the unconditional support of my employers at Deloitte and McInnes Cooper during this period of contemplation. Most importantly to my wife Nazanin and our three children who felt my absense the most during the last round and yet were still willing to sacrifice more. I am forever grateful for your love and support. Taking on a leadership role demands a full commitment and involves enormous sacrifice. I admire all who are willing to step forward to serve our country in these demanding and volatile times. The current list of nominees is impressive and offers members a wide array of experience, policy and perspectives. I support our interim leader the Hon Candice Bergen and I will pledge my full support to the permanent leader once elected on September 10th. I remain steadfast in my commitment to Canada and advancing many important causes here at home and around the world. Sincerely, Peter Mackay

Posted by peter mackay on Saturday, March 12, 2022

MacKay was also leader of the Progressive Conservatives when the party merged with the Canadian Alliance to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

Four candidates are in the race so far — Ottawa-area MP Pierre Poilievre, former 2020 leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis, Independent Ontario MPP Roman Barber and former Quebec premier Jean Charest.

MacKay says he will continue to support interim leader Candice Bergen and will also support the eventual winner of the leadership vote.

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