By: Surjit Singh Flora
After more than four years away from politics, former Cabinet Minister Peter MacKay has formally announced his bid to enter the Federal Conservative Party’s leadership race.
Mackay made the announcement at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton in Nova Scotia, his hometown, with more than 200 supporters in attendance.
MacKay said he decided to run for leadership because the current Liberal government is making the lives of Canadians more difficul, and that they can’t expect someone else to come and fix it while standing on the sidelines.
“I am here to stand up and do my part to help unite this country, to put shoulder to the wheel and with others to help build a better life for all of us,” said MacKay amidst cheers.
MacKay, who stepped away from politics prior to the 2015 federal election, told the crowd about his experience as a former defense minister and his plan to bring strong national leadership to the rest of the world.
He also lashed out at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for stating that the interests of Canada’s leadership in the world should be pursued through a serious diplomacy, not by picking photos and throwing selfies.
MacKay served in several key positions in the government led by Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Additionally, when the Progressive Conservative Party merged with the Canadian Alliance in 2003, he was the leader of the PC Party.
The Tories, under Harper’s leadership, had to face defeat in 2015, and Harper resigned as a leader.
MacKay’s announcement, which emphasized a need for cohesion within the ranks of the party, came as outgoing party leader Andrew Scheer is meeting with Conservative MPs and senators in Ottawa.
Scheer became the party leader after defeating 14 candidates in 2017. He later announced that he would step down after the Conservatives elect their new leader in June.