Peter MacKay interview abruptly ends after question about tweet
TORONTO -- The public relations team for Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay abruptly ended an interview with CTV News after he was questioned about a tweet his team sent out concerning Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s yoga expenses.
The awkward exchange happened Monday during an exclusive interview with the former cabinet minister after a tour of Boost, a child and youth advocacy centre in Toronto that helps children who’ve been victims of abuse. MacKay co-chairs the group’s board.
When questions turned to his leadership campaign, MacKay said he wanted to raise the bar for political discourse.
“I'm at a point now with some further private sector experience and some reflection that I'd like to do politics a little differently,” he said.
“Everybody says that but having been in it and left and coming back to it, I think I bring a new level of compassion, a new level of understanding of perhaps how things could work on a practical level and I'd also like, and everybody says this, but I would like to see some civility."
In response, CTV News questioned MacKay about a tweet his account sent out on Saturday, which criticized Trudeau for using $876.95 in Liberal party donations for yoga sessions, spa visits and other health club expenses.
MacKay said he did not agree with the tweet.
“That was something that happened that I'm not proud of,” he said. “I don't have the opportunity always to vet every single thing that goes on that social media account and so we are going to do better.”
It was then that MacKay’s media handlers shut down the interview.
“I think we're done,” said one. “You just went way over. I'm sorry,” another one added.
“She's just doing her job, she's a journalist” MacKay said.
MacKay is one of seven candidates -- including fellow frontrunner Erin O’Toole -- who’ve officially declared their intent to run for the Conservative leadership.
The party will select their new leader during a convention in Toronto on June 27.