The House

'Til next time? Peter MacKay not running in the next election

This week on The House, Evan Solomon explores Peter MacKay's decision to leave politics. The Justice Minister has announced he would not run in the upcoming federal election. What impact will that have on the short and long-term future of the Conservative Party?
(Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Goodbye, Peter MacKay. Or should we say farewell?

The Justice Minister and one of the founders of the Conservative Party of Canada is leaving politics. His surprise announcement came on Friday, just four months before the federal election and on the heels of another senior Cabinet minister stepping down, John Baird.

So what does this mean for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives as they prepare for what's lining up to be a fierce campaign battle? And with MacKay gone, are there any original Progressive Conservatives left from before the 2003 merger with the Canadian Alliance?

Treasury Board President Tony Clement joins us to talk about the reason behind MacKay's departure, and his party's next steps, while former federal Progressive Conservative leader and Quebec Premier Jean Charest weighs in on MacKay's legacy as a "Red Tory".

"I'm sure our adversaries are rubbing their hands with glee and talking about sinking ships and deck chairs on the Titanic," Clement says, but dismisses any fears that Mackay's departure jeopardizes Conservative chances in the election. 

Charest is a little more cautious. "There is, I think, a question of whether that element of Red Tory-ism is still alive and well," he says. "We'll see where the general campaign will go and whether or not there is a place for Red Tories."

And we go on the money trail with the former Governor of the Bank of Canada David Dodge. What does he think of the federal government's about-face on changes to the Canada Pension Plan?  Pierre Poilievre, Minister of Employment and Social Development explains the reasoning behind the shift. 

With just days to go before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presents its report on the residential school system after six years of work, TRC chair Justice Murray Sinclair talks about what he learned, what surprised him -- and why our country's history of residential schools is a Canadian problem, not an Aboriginal one. 

"Cultural genocide is the best description of what went on here," he says. It's a powerful, emotional interview you won't want to miss.

Finally, you're not supposed to shoot the messenger, but Canada's Auditor General Michael Ferguson came under fire this week for his office's own expense claims -- just days before his potentially explosive audit of the Senate is expected to be released. The Auditor General joins us to talk expenses -- the Senate's, and his own. 

PM Harper lauds 'historic figure' Peter MacKay

8 years ago
Duration 13:39
Prime Minister Stephen delivered a warm, at times funny, tribute before Justice Minister Peter MacKay announced his future plans - with a brief interruption by MacKay's son Kian.