Finally, Peter MacKay has confirmed he’d run to lead the federal Conservative party.
The former cabinet minister is now expected to formally launch his leadership campaign in his home province of Nova Scotia late next week.
Meanwhile other candidates are expected to throw their hats in the ring like Quebec premier Jean Charest.
A question is how they battle it out on each other’s home turfs, said Christian Bourque, vice-president of polling firm Leger.
MacKay has been pegged as a contender to take over the party not just since Scheer stepped down in mid-December, but ever since the party came into being.
He was instrumental in forming it, having helmed one of the parties that preceded it, the Progressive Conservatives. That party merged with Canadian Alliance in 2003 to form today’s Conservative party and MacKay went to work under the new boss, Stephen Harper.
He also has the credentials to back up his claim to be leader of the Conservative party having been foreign-affairs minister, defence minister and justice minister in Harper’s Conservative governments.
MacKay stepped away from politics ahead of the 2015 election, the year the Harper Tories lost power and Harper himself resigned as leader.
To enter, candidates must pay a $200,000 non-refundable fee and a further $100,000 as a compliance deposit they get back if they meet all the requirements and gather 3,000 signatures from party members backing their bids. One thousand of those must be from people in 30 different ridings spread over seven provinces or territories.
The registration deadline for candidates is February 27, and they must meet all of the registration requirements by March 25.
Party members will gather to vote in a new leader June 27 at a convention in Toronto. -CINEWS