Peter MacKay will not run for Conservative leadership this time

Peter MacKay will not run for the Conservative leadership this time around.

The former Central Nova MP and co-founder of the party confirmed his decision to step down in a statement released March 12.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to the hundreds of Canadians, friends, colleagues and supporters who have reached out and contacted me over the past month to encourage me to once again participate in the leadership race,” MacKay said. “Your words and pledges of support have been encouraging and made this decision so difficult. I sincerely thank you.”

One of the main reasons MacKay gave for not running this time was because of the remaining debt from his 2020 run.

“As a supporter of fiscal and personal responsibility, I remain committed to settling my 2020 leadership campaign debt before embarking on another campaign. With unforeseen circumstances and a last-minute two-month extension of the 2020 campaign by the LEOC; and personal security requirements because of death threats against my family, we had cost overruns,” he said. “Yet with the help of several dedicated volunteers and generous Canadians, we hope to pay down the debt.”

MacKay noted that his wife Nazanin and their three children felt his absence the most on the final lap, but were always willing to sacrifice more.

“Taking on a leadership role requires total commitment and involves tremendous sacrifice,” MacKay said. “I admire anyone who is willing to volunteer to serve our country during these difficult and unstable times. The current slate of candidates is impressive and offers members a wide range of experiences, policies and perspectives.”

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