MacKay 'seriously considering' Tory leadership bid, will decide in 'very near future'
OTTAWA -- Prominent former Conservative Peter MacKay says he's not ruling out a Conservative leadership bid – in fact, he's "very seriously considering it."
MacKay made the comments in an interview with host Evan Solomon that aired on CTV's Power Play Wednesday.
"I've been involved in a lot of these issues and been involved in public life for a long time and I miss it at times, and other times I'm very happy with where I am," MacKay said.
"This will be a decision that I'll have to take in the very near future."
The well-known Tory held a Nova Scotian seat in the House of Commons from 1997 to 2015, when he decided to step away from politics. He has held numerous cabinet positions, including justice minister, national defence minister and foreign affairs minister.
MacKay's name is raised whenever concerns come up about the current Conservative leadership, and his name was invoked once again when outgoing Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer announced he'd be stepping down.
MacKay had taken some jabs at Scheer in October, when he sat on a panel in Washington and likened Scheer's election loss to "having a breakaway on an open net and missing the net." While the former Conservative cabinet minister quickly went on a media blitz to declare his support for Scheer following the scathing statement, rumours began to fly that MacKay was planning a leadership bid before Scheer had even stepped down.
Should he join the race, MacKay would enter a field that already has a few candidates. CTV News has confirmed Conservative MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole both plan to enter the race, and unelected Conservative organizer Bryan Brulotte has already launched his own leadership campaign.
Former Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose is also rumoured to be seriously pondering a run. Sources from her camp told CTV's Evan Solomon that she is "struggling with a decision because she knows where the party is at [and] it's her instinct to jump in and help."
Former NDP leader Tom Mulcair has said former Quebec premier Jean Charest is also considering a bid.