Peter MacKay

Peter MacKay is the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister, the Conservative Party of Canada Deputy Leader, and the MP for Central Nova in Nova Scotia. His father Elmer MacKay was a former Conservative Cabinet Minister.

recent events

With U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Peter MacKay endorsed possible economic sanctions against Iran on the nuclear Iran issue: "It may not be the preferred option, but there aren't a lot of other options right now.", source: Tom Harper. "MacKay Talks Tough on Iran." Toronto Star. April 14, 2006.

Party roles

MacKay was a prominent member of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada before that party's dissolution.

He was friendly with Canadian Alliance members, but later claimed to be a strong opponent of that dissolution, making a deal with David Orchard to gain the leadership, a deal that included assurances that there would be no such merger.

MacKay reversed himself and conducted the deal to form the Conservative Party of Canada, a move which was approved by 90% of the old PC members, but this included many new memberships sold to Alliance members. MacKay did not challenge Stephen Harper for leadership of the new party, but became the Deputy Leader.


He was later linked romantically to Harper's leadership rival Belinda Stronach. In May 2005 she defected to the Liberal Party of Canada, simultaneously dissolving her relationship with MacKay that same day. MacKay gave a public impression of being genuinely emotionally hurt, and refused to speak ill of Stronach, though he admitted great disappointment and reiterated his firm commitment to the CPC.

Speculation abounded that MacKay had pressured Stronach not to run for leadership again to clear the way for himself, should Harper fail to achieve a breakthrough in the then-anticipated Canadian federal election, 2005. Stronach's move effectively ended both the immediate opportunity and the election speculation, as it had the effect of casuing the Canadian federal budget, 2004 to pass (with her vote, and the Conservatives minus that same vote).

It was unclear whether public sympathy, and the removal of the rival who ran second to Stronach, had improved MacKay's chances. What was clear was, Stronach's defection was devastating to Harper, who had relied on her to represent Ontario and the auto industry - in which Stronach's Magna Corporation is a major player. Her move might well have increased MacKay's chances by removing the potential for Harper to make a breakthrough without her.