The House

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

One of the founders of the modern Conservative Party is leaving politics... for now. Justice Minister Peter Mackay has announced he will not seek re-election whenever the next federal election happens to be. What does his decision mean for the future of the party?
Peter MacKay, Justice Minister and a Conservative Party founder, announced Friday he is leaving federal politics and won't run in the upcoming fall election. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Peter MacKay, the man who helped unite the right in Canada, is stepping down from federal politics -- and leaving a gaping hole on the Prime Minister's front benches as the Conservatives gear up for what promises to be a heated campaign before the fall election.

The Justice Minister and Nova Scotia MP announced on Friday, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper at his side, that he would not seek re-election.

MacKay's departure marks the last of the original PCs who were serving at the time of the merger. What does his resignation mean for the future of the Conservative Party in Canada? 

Conservative MP and Treasury Board President Tony Clement and former federal Progressive Conservative leader and Quebec Liberal Premier Jean Charest join us to talk about MacKay's legacy -- and what impact his departure will have on the Conservative Party now that one of its founders is gone. 

"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."

Then, In House panelists Mark Kennedy and Tasha Kheiriddin join us for a complete analysis.

Peter MacKay calls it quits

8 years ago
Duration 22:27
Justice minister will end his career in federal politics this fall after nearly 20 years 'for entirely personal reasons' as he focuses on family