TORONTO, Sept. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - It was an enormous honour and extremely rewarding experience to have served in the Parliament of Canada for over 18 years. I was proud to have served the people of Central Nova, in my home province of Nova Scotia, from both sides of the House of Commons, and for almost 10 years the people of Canada from the Government benches in several portfolios.
Over the summer, I have contemplated a return to public life and entering into the race to lead the Conservative Party of Canada. The decision to seek the leadership is an enormous one, that would have both personal and professional consequences for many people in my life. I consulted broadly, beginning with my family and colleagues. I had numerous meetings, both arranged and spontaneous, with many people encouraging me to seek the position of leader of our Party. I felt that I owed it to the many supporters, and frankly to myself, to take the time over the summer to consider this path. Politics is a serious profession and a calling of the highest order. It requires tremendous commitment and effort, particularly in the role of leader. In addition, I feel blessed to have had a loyal and talented team in my constituency, Ottawa and around the country who helped me in politics and in life and I consider close friends. They have kept confidences and always given honest insights and advice. I am thankful for the many opinions, emails and offers of support that I have received. In fairness to others declared, and those in consideration, I feel it is time to decide so as not to negatively impact others.
After much soul searching, advice from trusted friends, and weighing of the impact on my young family, I have decided not to seek the leadership of the Party. I choose not to run at this time for some of the same reasons I stated when I chose not to seek re-election last year. My family is my number one priority. The love and support of my wife, Nazanin, has been unwavering and we are blessed with two, healthy, vibrant children; Kian, aged 3, and Valentia, 11 months, who need our full attention at this tender age. While the opportunity is exciting and the reward compelling, I feel it would be asking too much of them to jump back into politics right now and the heat of a leadership campaign with all that it entails. Having run for federal leadership successfully back in 2003, I know the demands and time away from home that it requires. My parents and siblings have also been a source of strength and inspiration my entire life and I am so fortunate to have them.
I have returned to the private sector and the practice of law with Baker & McKenzie LLP, based in Toronto. The Partners and Associates have been tremendously supportive and accommodating of me during the last seven months and I am grateful. I have also committed time to volunteer, joining the boards of the Special Olympics Canada and Boost, the Youth Child Advocacy Centre in Toronto. I continue my work with Big Brothers Big Sisters and Wounded Warriors and I look forward to working with these charitable organizations and others in different ways outside public office. I am full of admiration for those who will seek the leadership and I stand ready to work with whoever the new leader will be. I am optimistic about the future of the Conservative Party of Canada; I am confident that with a steady, modern, interim leader in Rona Ambrose, many new and veteran Members of Parliament, and with an impressive and well-financed level of national support, the Party stands as a strong, loyal opposition and alternative Government.
I am proud of our record as a Government and more so of the Nation-building vision Conservatives have brought to Canadian politics since the founding of our country. I believe in our strong, united, National Conservative Party, and know that we will continue to offer sound leadership, principled policy and governance in the future.
(signed) "Peter MacKay"
Baker & McKenzie LLP
SOURCE Prospectus Associates
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