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Peter MacKay

Peter MacKay

Overview
Peter Gordon MacKay, PC
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

, QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

, MP (born September 27, 1965) is a lawyer and politician from Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. He is the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Central Nova
Central Nova
Central Nova is a federal electoral district in Nova Scotia, Canada, that has been represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1968 to 1997 and since 2004. Its population in 2001 was 73,722....

 and currently serves as Minister of National Defence
Minister of National Defence (Canada)
The Minister of National Defence is a Minister of the Crown; the Canadian politician within the Cabinet of Canada responsible for the Department of National Defence which oversees the Canadian Forces....

 in the Cabinet of Canada
Cabinet of Canada
The Cabinet of Canada is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada...

.

MacKay was the final leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues....

 (PC Party). On October 15, 2003, he and Canadian Alliance
Canadian Alliance
The Canadian Alliance , formally the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance , was a Canadian conservative political party that existed from 2000 to 2003. The party was the successor to the Reform Party of Canada and inherited its position as the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and held...

 leader Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 agreed to merge the two parties, forming the Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

. In December 2003, members of both parties ratified the merger.

MacKay was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow is a town in Pictou County, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait....

.
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Encyclopedia
Peter Gordon MacKay, PC
Queen's Privy Council for Canada
The Queen's Privy Council for Canada ), sometimes called Her Majesty's Privy Council for Canada or simply the Privy Council, is the full group of personal consultants to the monarch of Canada on state and constitutional affairs, though responsible government requires the sovereign or her viceroy,...

, QC
Queen's Counsel
Queen's Counsel , known as King's Counsel during the reign of a male sovereign, are lawyers appointed by letters patent to be one of Her [or His] Majesty's Counsel learned in the law...

, MP (born September 27, 1965) is a lawyer and politician from Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. He is the Member of Parliament
Member of Parliament
A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

 for Central Nova
Central Nova
Central Nova is a federal electoral district in Nova Scotia, Canada, that has been represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1968 to 1997 and since 2004. Its population in 2001 was 73,722....

 and currently serves as Minister of National Defence
Minister of National Defence (Canada)
The Minister of National Defence is a Minister of the Crown; the Canadian politician within the Cabinet of Canada responsible for the Department of National Defence which oversees the Canadian Forces....

 in the Cabinet of Canada
Cabinet of Canada
The Cabinet of Canada is a body of ministers of the Crown that, along with the Canadian monarch, and within the tenets of the Westminster system, forms the government of Canada...

.

MacKay was the final leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada
The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a Canadian political party with a centre-right stance on economic issues and, after the 1970s, a centrist stance on social issues....

 (PC Party). On October 15, 2003, he and Canadian Alliance
Canadian Alliance
The Canadian Alliance , formally the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance , was a Canadian conservative political party that existed from 2000 to 2003. The party was the successor to the Reform Party of Canada and inherited its position as the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and held...

 leader Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 agreed to merge the two parties, forming the Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

. In December 2003, members of both parties ratified the merger.

Early life and career


MacKay was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow is a town in Pictou County, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait....

. His father, Elmer MacKay
Elmer MacKay
Elmer MacIntosh MacKay, PC, QC is a retired Canadian politician.-Life and career:MacKay was born in Hopewell, Nova Scotia. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Central Nova through a 1971 by-election...

, is a former PC cabinet minister, lumber businessman, and lawyer. His mother, Macha MacKay (née Delap), is a psychologist
Psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...

 and peace activist; through her, MacKay is descended from James Alexander, 3rd Earl of Caledon
James Alexander, 3rd Earl of Caledon
James Du Pre Alexander, 3rd Earl of Caledon styled Viscount Alexander from birth until 1839, was a soldier and politician....

 and James Grimston, 1st Earl of Verulam
James Grimston, 1st Earl of Verulam
James Walter Grimston, 1st Earl of Verulam , styled Lord Dunboyne from 1775 until 1808 and known as Viscount Grimston from 1808 to 1815, was a British peer and Member of Parliament....

. MacKay grew up in Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Wolfville is a small town in the Annapolis Valley, Kings County, Nova Scotia, Canada, located about northwest of the provincial capital, Halifax. As of 2006, the population was 3,772....

 with his three siblings. He graduated from Horton District High School in Greenwich, Nova Scotia
Greenwich, Nova Scotia
Greenwich is a Canadian rural community located in eastern Kings County, Nova Scotia.The community is bordered to the south by the Wolfville Ridge, immediately west of the town of Wolfville and east of the village of New Minas...

, and then went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 degree from Acadia University
Acadia University
Acadia University is a predominantly undergraduate university located in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada with some graduate programs at the master's level and one at the doctoral level...

/Carleton University
Carleton University
Carleton University is a comprehensive university located in the capital of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. The enabling legislation is The Carleton University Act, 1952, S.O. 1952. Founded as a small college in 1942, Carleton now offers over 65 programs in a diverse range of disciplines. Carleton has...

 in 1987, MacKay then studied Law at Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University is a public research university located in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. The university comprises eleven faculties including Schulich School of Law and Dalhousie University Faculty of Medicine. It also includes the faculties of architecture, planning and engineering located at...

 and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in June 1991. He worked for Thyssen Henschel
ThyssenKrupp
ThyssenKrupp AG is a German multinational conglomerate corporation headquartered in Duisburg Essen, Germany. The corporation consists of 670 companies worldwide. While ThyssenKrupp is one of the world's largest steel producers, the company also provides components and systems for the automotive...

, steel producer, in Halifax, Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia
Nova Scotia is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces and is the most populous province in Atlantic Canada. The name of the province is Latin for "New Scotland," but "Nova Scotia" is the recognized, English-language name of the province. The provincial capital is Halifax. Nova Scotia is the...

, and in Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

 and Kassel
Kassel
Kassel is a town located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Kassel Regierungsbezirk and the Kreis of the same name and has approximately 195,000 inhabitants.- History :...

, Germany.

In 1993, MacKay accepted an appointment as Crown Attorney
Crown attorney
Crown Attorneys or Crown Counsel are the prosecutors in the legal system of Canada.Crown Attorneys represent the Crown and act as prosecutor in proceedings under the Criminal Code of Canada...

 for the Central Region of Nova Scotia. He prosecuted cases at all levels, including youth and provincial courts as well as the Supreme Court of Canada
Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court of Canada and is the final court of appeals in the Canadian justice system. The court grants permission to between 40 and 75 litigants each year to appeal decisions rendered by provincial, territorial and federal appellate courts, and its decisions...

. MacKay has publicly stated that the major impetus for his entry into federal politics was his frustrations with the shortcomings in the justice system, particularly his perception that the courts do not care about the impact crime has on victims.

Member of Parliament



MacKay was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons
Canadian House of Commons
The House of Commons of Canada is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign and the Senate. The House of Commons is a democratically elected body, consisting of 308 members known as Members of Parliament...

 in the June 2, 1997 federal election
Canadian federal election, 1997
The Canadian federal election of 1997 was held on June 2, 1997, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 36th Parliament of Canada. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's Liberal Party of Canada won a second majority government...

 for Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough
Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough
Pictou—Antigonish—Guysborough was a federal electoral district in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada, that was represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1997 to 2004....

, a riding
Electoral district (Canada)
An electoral district in Canada, also known as a constituency or a riding, is a geographical constituency upon which Canada's representative democracy is based...

 in northeastern Nova Scotia. He was one of a handful of newly elected "Young Turk" PC MPs (including John Herron
John Herron (New Brunswick politician)
John Herron is a former Canadian politician and Red Tory.Herron was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1997 federal election as a candidate of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada . He was reelected in the 2000 election...

, André Bachand
André Bachand (Progressive Conservative MP)
André Bachand is a Canadian politician, who represented the riding of Richmond—Arthabaska as member of the Progressive Conservatives from 1997 to 2003....

 and Scott Brison
Scott Brison
Scott A. Brison, PC, MP is a Canadian politician from Nova Scotia, Canada. Brison has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kings-Hants since the 1997 federal election. Brison was originally elected as a Progressive Conservative but crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party in 2003...

), who were under 35 years old when elected and were considered the future leadership material that might restore the ailing Tories to their glory days. In his first term of office, MacKay served as Justice Critic and House Leader for the Progressive Conservative parliamentary caucus. MacKay was the Tory member of the Board of Internal Economy and the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. He also acted as an associate member of the Standing Committees on Canadian Heritage, Finance and the sub-committee on the Study of Sport.

MacKay was re-elected in the 2000 federal election
Canadian federal election, 2000
The 2000 Canadian federal election was held on November 27, 2000, to elect 301 Members of Parliament of the Canadian House of Commons of the 37th Parliament of Canada....

 and was frequently touted by the media as a possible successor to PC Party leader Joe Clark
Joe Clark
Charles Joseph "Joe" Clark, is a Canadian statesman, businessman, and university professor, and former journalist and politician...

. Many of his initial supporters referred to his strong performances in the House of Commons and magnetism as key attributes that would make him a popular leader. MacKay has been voted the "sexiest male MP in the House of Commons" by the Hill Times (a Parliament Hill newspaper) for six years in a row. When asked in a 2001 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

 documentary on the resurgence of the PC Party if he would ever consider running for the PC leadership, MacKay quipped, "If there's one thing I've learned in politics it's 'never say never.' Jean Charest
Jean Charest
John James "Jean" Charest, PC, MNA is a Canadian politician who has been the 29th Premier of Quebec since 2003. He was leader of the federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1993 to 1998 and has been leader of the Quebec Liberal Party since 1998....

 taught me that."

In August 2001, he was one of several PC MPs to engage in open cooperation talks with disaffected Canadian Alliance MPs in Mont-Tremblant
Mont-Tremblant
Circuit Mont-Tremblant is a race circuit about north of the village of Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Formerly the village of Saint-Jovite was often included in the name but was amalgamated in 2000.-History:...

, Quebec
Quebec
Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

. Eventually a union of sorts was created between the PCs and the newly formed Democratic Representative Caucus
Democratic Representative Caucus
The Democratic Representative Caucus was a group of Canadian Members of Parliament who left the Canadian Alliance in 2001 in protest against the leadership of Stockwell Day...

 (DRC). MacKay was appointed House Leader of the new PC-DR Parliamentary Coalition Caucus when it was formally recognized as a political body on September 10, 2001. The PC-DR initiative collapsed in April 2002, raising questions about Clark's leadership. Clark announced his impending resignation as party leader at the PC Party's bi-annual convention held in Edmonton
Edmonton
Edmonton is the capital of the Canadian province of Alberta and is the province's second-largest city. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and is the centre of the Edmonton Capital Region, which is surrounded by the central region of the province.The city and its census...

, Alberta in August 2002. MacKay's name was one of the first to be raised as a possible leadership contender.

2003 leadership race


MacKay was largely seen as the assumed victor of the race from the outset of the leadership contest. Ultimately, his candidacy was helped by the absence of so called "dream candidates" such as provincial Progressive Conservative Premiers Bernard Lord
Bernard Lord
Bernard Lord, ONB, QC, is a Canadian politician and lobbyist. Lord served as the 30th Premier of New Brunswick from 1999 to 2006.-Early life:...

, Mike Harris
Mike Harris
Michael Deane "Mike" Harris was the 22nd Premier of Ontario from June 26, 1995 to April 15, 2002. He is most noted for the "Common Sense Revolution", his Progressive Conservative government's program of deficit reduction in combination with lower taxes and cuts to government...

 and Ralph Klein who did not to run for the leadership. MacKay formally launched his leadership campaign in his hometown of New Glasgow
New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
New Glasgow is a town in Pictou County, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait....

 in January 2003. From the onset of the campaign, MacKay insisted that his primary goal upon assuming the leadership would be the rebuilding the fractured conservative movement from within the PC tent. For much of the race, MacKay was the clear front-runner. Several opponents, including former PC Party Treasurer Jim Prentice
Jim Prentice
James "Jim" Prentice, PC, QC is a Canadian lawyer, and politician. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a candidate of the Conservative Party of Canada...

, social conservative candidate Craig Chandler
Craig Chandler
Craig B. Chandler is a Canadian businessman, pundit, and political and religious activist. He is a co-founder and executive director of the Progressive Group for Independent Business...

, and Red Tory
Red Tory
A red Tory is an adherent of a particular political philosophy, tradition, and disposition in Canada somewhat similar to the High Tory tradition in the United Kingdom; it is contrasted with "blue Tory". In Canada, the phenomenon of "red toryism" has fundamentally, if not exclusively, been found in...

 Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison
Scott Brison
Scott A. Brison, PC, MP is a Canadian politician from Nova Scotia, Canada. Brison has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kings-Hants since the 1997 federal election. Brison was originally elected as a Progressive Conservative but crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party in 2003...

, painted MacKay as a status quo or "establishment" candidate who could effectively question the Prime Minister.

MacKay's campaign was largely based on his leadership skills and a national organization rather than on policies or new directions. MacKay is largely viewed by political analysts as a Blue Tory
Blue Tory
Blue Tories, also known as small 'c' conservatives, are, in Canadian politics, members of the former federal Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, current Conservative Party of Canada and provincial Progressive Conservative parties who are more economically right wing...

. While his fiscal conservatism has never been questioned, he remains ambiguously unsupportive of social issues such as same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage in Canada
On July 20, 2005, Canada became the fourth country in the world and the first country in the Americas to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide with the enactment of the Civil Marriage Act which provided a gender-neutral marriage definition...

 and the decriminalization of marijuana
Cannabis (drug)
Cannabis, also known as marijuana among many other names, refers to any number of preparations of the Cannabis plant intended for use as a psychoactive drug or for medicinal purposes. The English term marijuana comes from the Mexican Spanish word marihuana...

, which alienated him somewhat from the influential Red Tory
Red Tory
A red Tory is an adherent of a particular political philosophy, tradition, and disposition in Canada somewhat similar to the High Tory tradition in the United Kingdom; it is contrasted with "blue Tory". In Canada, the phenomenon of "red toryism" has fundamentally, if not exclusively, been found in...

 wing of the PC Party. MacKay generally takes a pro-American view towards foreign policy issues.

Convention and controversy


MacKay entered the first ballot of the PC leadership convention held on May 31, 2003 with roughly 41% of the delegates supporting him. However, on the second ballot, MacKay's support dropped to 39%. On the third ballot, MacKay's support reached 45% but many of his supporters were convinced that he had hit his popular peak. Some analysts noted that the eliminated third-place challenger David Orchard
David Orchard
David Orchard is a Canadian political figure, member of the Liberal Party of Canada, who was the Liberal Party candidate for the Saskatchewan riding of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River in the 2008 federal election.Previously, Orchard was a member of the now defunct Progressive Conservative...

 drew his 25% bulk of delegate supporters largely from the Western prairie provinces. Orchard was prepared to speak with either MacKay or Prentice to determine if a deal could be reached over some of the issues that he raised during the leadership campaign. As the results of the third ballot were called, MacKay's campaign manager, Tory Senator Noel Kinsella
Noël Kinsella
Noël A. Kinsella is a Canadian politician and Speaker of the Canadian Senate.-Education:Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, he received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from University College in Dublin, Ireland. He received an L.Ph. and a Ph.D. degree from Pontifical University of St. Thomas...

, hastily arranged a backroom meeting between MacKay, Orchard, and their campaign advisors. During the meeting, MacKay reached a deal with his rival, and Orchard emerged from the room urging his delegates to support MacKay. Press officials immediately demanded to know what had inspired Orchard's surprise move. Orchard repeatedly referred to a "gentleman's agreement" made between himself and MacKay that had led to his qualified support.

MacKay won the final ballot with nearly 65% of the delegates supporting him. For the next few weeks, the specific details of the "Orchard deal" remained vague: a secret between MacKay, Orchard, and their advisors. However, it was eventually revealed that the "Orchard deal" promised a review of the PC Party's policies on the North American Free Trade Agreement
North American Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA is an agreement signed by the governments of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, creating a trilateral trade bloc in North America. The agreement came into force on January 1, 1994. It superseded the Canada – United States Free Trade Agreement...

, no merger or joint candidates with the Canadian Alliance
Canadian Alliance
The Canadian Alliance , formally the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance , was a Canadian conservative political party that existed from 2000 to 2003. The party was the successor to the Reform Party of Canada and inherited its position as the Official Opposition in the House of Commons and held...

, and a promise to redouble efforts to rebuild the national status of the Progressive Conservative Party. The agreement also included re-examining the PC Party's policies on government subsidies for national railways and preserving the environment. The deal also requested that MacKay "clean up" the party's head office and specifically requested that the party's National Director be fired. Further evidence later revealed Scott Brison
Scott Brison
Scott A. Brison, PC, MP is a Canadian politician from Nova Scotia, Canada. Brison has been the Member of Parliament for the riding of Kings-Hants since the 1997 federal election. Brison was originally elected as a Progressive Conservative but crossed the floor to join the Liberal Party in 2003...

's cellphone number written in the margins of the note for some unexplained reason. In an attempt to heal internal rifts after the convention, MacKay edited out the number. After Brison defected to the Liberal party, however, MacKay revealed the original copy. The agreement prompted much outrage and controversy amongst United Alternative supporters and was ribaldly referred to by CA MP Jason Kenney
Jason Kenney
Jason T. Kenney, PC, MP is Canada's current Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. He has represented the riding of Calgary Southeast in the Canadian House of Commons since 1997....

 as "a deal with the Devil".

At first, MacKay seemed to be willing to adhere to the deal. In June, several Clark-appointed personnel were let go from the party's main office and MacKay appointed new experienced staff whose loyalties were more closely linked to himself and former Prime Minister and PC Party leader Brian Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

. MacKay also appointed a couple of low level staff workers who had been supportive of David Orchard's leadership bid. In July, MacKay struck up a "Blue Ribbon PC Policy Review Panel", made up of Tory MPs, Senators, and Orchard himself, that was to be chaired by Tory MP Bill Casey
Bill Casey
William D. "Bill" Casey is a Canadian politician. He is a former Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons.-Life and career:...

, in order to reexamine the party's policies on NAFTA. The Committee was scheduled to hold talks across the country and make a report to the leader by January 2004.

By mid-July, political opponents and fellow Tories began attacking MacKay over the "Orchard deal." MacKay's conservative rival Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 suggested that the PC Party had hit rock-bottom when its policies and directions would be beholden to a "prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

 socialist." The secretive nature of the deal also led to concerns from within the party's headquarters and constituency associations. David Orchard was seen by many within the party as an "outsider" who was attempting to turn the Progressive Conservative Party into the "Prairie Co-operative Party". Some felt that MacKay's credibility and leadership were undermined by the deal and that electoral expectations were low for the upcoming election that was expected to occur in less than a year's time. Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy
Rex Murphy is a Canadian commentator and author, primarily on Canadian political and social matters.Murphy was born in Carbonear, Newfoundland, 105 kilometres west of St. John's and is the second of five children of Harry and Marie Murphy...

 noted in a Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail is a nationally distributed Canadian newspaper, based in Toronto and printed in six cities across the country. With a weekly readership of approximately 1 million, it is Canada's largest-circulation national newspaper and second-largest daily newspaper after the Toronto Star...

column that MacKay's leadership arrived "stillborn" and that, perhaps for the first time in recent memory, a party immediately emerged from a leadership convention grievously weakened and even less united than when it entered the convention.

Conservative party merger


Public musings that the divided PCs would be marginalized in a future election between a relatively stable western-based CA under Stephen Harper and the massively popular Paul Martin Liberals (although Jean Chrétien remained the Liberal leader until November 2003, he had announced he would not run again), MacKay encouraged talks between high-profile members of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservatives.

On October 15, 2003, the merger talks culminated in MacKay and Alliance leader Stephen Harper signing an Agreement in Principle on the establishment of the Conservative Party of Canada, whereby the Progressive Conservatives and the Canadian Alliance would merge to form a new Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

. While MacKay was roundly criticized in some Red Tory
Red Tory
A red Tory is an adherent of a particular political philosophy, tradition, and disposition in Canada somewhat similar to the High Tory tradition in the United Kingdom; it is contrasted with "blue Tory". In Canada, the phenomenon of "red toryism" has fundamentally, if not exclusively, been found in...

 circles for permitting a union under his watch, MacKay's efforts to sell the merger to the PC membership were successful: 90.4% of the party's elected delegates supported the deal in a vote on December 6, 2003.

Some PC caucus members refused to accept the merger: long-time Tory MP and former Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Joe Clark continued to sit as a "Progressive Conservative" for the remainder of the Parliament, as did MPs John Herron
John Herron (New Brunswick politician)
John Herron is a former Canadian politician and Red Tory.Herron was first elected to the House of Commons in the 1997 federal election as a candidate of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada . He was reelected in the 2000 election...

 and André Bachand
André Bachand (Progressive Conservative MP)
André Bachand is a Canadian politician, who represented the riding of Richmond—Arthabaska as member of the Progressive Conservatives from 1997 to 2003....

, while Scott Brison left the new party to join the Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 in December 2003. In January 2004, several Tory Senators left the party to sit as independents or "Progressive Conservatives". MacKay announced on January 13, 2004, that he would not run for the leadership of the new Conservative Party. On March 22, he was named deputy leader of the new party by newly-elected leader Stephen Harper. He was easily re-elected in the June 28, 2004 federal election
Canadian federal election, 2004
The Canadian federal election, 2004 , was held on June 28, 2004 to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 38th Parliament of Canada. The Liberal government of Prime Minister Paul Martin lost its majority, but was able to form a minority government after the elections...

 in the newly redistributed riding of Central Nova
Central Nova
Central Nova is a federal electoral district in Nova Scotia, Canada, that has been represented in the Canadian House of Commons from 1968 to 1997 and since 2004. Its population in 2001 was 73,722....

.

On September 29, 2005, the Premier of Nova Scotia
Premier of Nova Scotia
The Premier of Nova Scotia is the first minister for the Canadian province of Nova Scotia who presides over the Executive Council of Nova Scotia. Following the Westminster system, the premier is normally the leader of the political party which has the most seats in the Nova Scotia House of Assembly...

, John Hamm
John Hamm
John Frederick Hamm, is a Canadian physician and politician and was the 25th Premier of Nova Scotia, Canada.Hamm, a graduate of the University of King's College and Dalhousie University, was a family doctor in his hometown of Stellarton, Nova Scotia, and the president of the Nova Scotia Medical...

, announced his intention to resign. There was speculation that MacKay would return to the province to pursue provincial politics and enter the Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia
Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia
The Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, registered under the Nova Scotia Elections Act as the "Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia", is a moderate right-of-centre political party in Nova Scotia, Canada....

 leadership race to become the Premier. MacKay would have been considered a front-runner in the race, however, he decided to remain with the Federal Conservatives.
The Liberal government lost a motion of non-confidence on November 28, 2005. In the resulting January 2006 election, the Conservative Party was elected with a minority government. He did retain his seat by a comfortable margin against NDP candidate Alexis MacDonald.

Foreign Affairs



Following the Conservative victory in the 2006 election
Canadian federal election, 2006
The 2006 Canadian federal election was held on January 23, 2006, to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 39th Parliament of Canada. The Conservative Party of Canada won the greatest number of seats: 40.3% of seats, or 124 out of 308, up from 99 seats in 2004, and 36.3% of votes:...

, Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 named MacKay as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency; he was also tasked to be the political minister for both his home province, and for neighbouring Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island
Prince Edward Island is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population...

, just as his father Elmer
Elmer MacKay
Elmer MacIntosh MacKay, PC, QC is a retired Canadian politician.-Life and career:MacKay was born in Hopewell, Nova Scotia. He was first elected to the Canadian House of Commons as the Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament for Central Nova through a 1971 by-election...

 had done between 1988 and 1993.

During the first mandate, his biggest issue was the Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

Hezbollah crisis
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

 that occurred in July 2006. The government decided to evacuate thousands of Canadians from Lebanon to safer locations and many back to Canada. MacKay responded to critics saying that the process was slow, that the boats (those which were used to evacuate) had limited capacity. MacKay's statements in support of the Israeli during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict
The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War #Other uses|Tammūz]]) and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War , was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, northern Israel and the Israeli-occupied territories. The principal parties were Hezbollah...

 created a national debate in Canada, especially among Arabs and Muslim Canadians who opposed MacKay's position. During this period MacKay and the Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 joined the Bush Administration in opposing the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

' call for a ceasefire. It was also during this period that MacKay made a controversial statement in which he referred to Hezbollah as a "cancer" in Lebanon. Although Hezbollah is formally recognized by the government of Canada as a terrorist organization, it is a contentious issue for the Canadian public, as there are some who disagree with this view, regarding Hezbollah as a resistance movement instead.

Defence



On August 14, 2007, Stephen Harper shuffled MacKay from Foreign Affairs to Defence, replacing Gordon O'Connor
Gordon O'Connor
Gordon James O'Connor, is a retired Brigadier-General, businessman, lobbyist, and current Canadian Member of Parliament and the Minister of State and Chief Government Whip....

. On November 6, 2007, while attending a meeting at Forward Operating Base Wilson, 20 kilometres west of Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 City, Mackay was unharmed as two rockets struck the base at about 11 a.m. local time. Mackay described the incident: "There was an explosion. It was a loud bang", said MacKay. "When it happened, we heard the explosion, we heard the whistle overhead, we were told to get down and we did." The incident happened on the same day that a suicide bomber
2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing
The 2007 Baghlan sugar factory bombing occurred on November 6, 2007 when a bomb exploded in the centre of Baghlan, Afghanistan, while a delegation of parliamentarians was visiting, killing dozens including several lawmakers.- The event :...

 detonated an explosive in Baghlan in the northeastern part of the country killing at least 35 including several politicians. While Taliban insurgents were suspected of being behind the bombing, it was not believed to be related to the attack in Kandahar.

In 2008, MacKay announced a broad exhaustive and very expensive program to upgrade the Canadian military's equipment, spending over $400 billion over 25 years. Unlike every previous spending announcement of its kind, no "white paper" or detailed breakdown of this number was available nor was any claimed to exist. This led to widespread speculation that an election was coming. Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 did in fact declare Parliament "dysfunctional" in August 2008 and called on Governor-General of Canada Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

 to dissolve parliament for the Canadian federal election, 2008
Canadian federal election, 2008
The 2008 Canadian federal election was held on Tuesday, October 14, 2008 to elect members to the Canadian House of Commons of the 40th Canadian Parliament after the previous parliament had been dissolved by the Governor General on September 7, 2008...

. The opposition objected but did not offer to form another government.

2011 election


During the 2011 election, MacKay retained his seat with some 56% of the vote. The Conservative Party of Canada
Conservative Party of Canada
The Conservative Party of Canada , is a political party in Canada which was formed by the merger of the Canadian Alliance and the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in 2003. It is positioned on the right of the Canadian political spectrum...

 won the election, gaining a majority of the seats in the House of Commons.

Personal life


MacKay was chosen as 'Canada's Sexiest Male MP' by The Hill Times
The Hill Times
The Hill Times is a Canadian weekly newspaper that covers the federal government and politics. Founded in 1989, this Ottawa based periodical is owned by Jim Creskey and Ross Dickson....

from 1999–2007 and 2009, coming in second in 2008 only to Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier
Maxime Bernier, PC, MP is a Canadian politician currently serving as the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in the cabinet of Prime Minister Stephen Harper....

. His former longtime girlfriend was Lisa Michelle Merrithew, daughter of former Mulroney
Brian Mulroney
Martin Brian Mulroney, was the 18th Prime Minister of Canada from September 17, 1984, to June 25, 1993 and was leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada from 1983 to 1993. His tenure as Prime Minister was marked by the introduction of major economic reforms, such as the Canada-U.S...

 cabinet minister Gerald Stairs Merrithew. They reportedly ended their relationship in 2004. He then was romantically linked to fellow MP Belinda Stronach
Belinda Stronach
Belinda Caroline Stronach, PC is a Canadian businessperson, philanthropist and former politician. She was a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008. Originally elected as a Conservative, she later crossed the floor to join the Liberals...

 in published reports. In an interview in the Toronto Star
Toronto Star
The Toronto Star is Canada's highest-circulation newspaper, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Its print edition is distributed almost entirely within the province of Ontario...

on January 8, 2005, Stronach confirmed that she and MacKay were dating. Stronach, elected as a Conservative in the 2004 election, crossed the floor
Crossing the floor
In politics, crossing the floor has two meanings referring to a change of allegiance in a Westminster system parliament.The term originates from the British House of Commons, which is configured with the Government and Opposition facing each other on rows of benches...

 to the Liberal Party
Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada , colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federally registered party in Canada. In the conventional political spectrum, the party sits between the centre and the centre-left. Historically the Liberal Party has positioned itself to the left of the Conservative...

 on May 17, 2005. On May 18, 2005, MacKay told the CBC
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commonly known as CBC and officially as CBC/Radio-Canada, is a Canadian crown corporation that serves as the national public radio and television broadcaster...

 that his relationship with Stronach was indeed over, and that it had come as a surprise to him that she had crossed the floor. According to Don Martin
Don Martin (journalist)
Don Martin is a Canadian television and newspaper journalist, currently the host of Power Play on CTV News Channel. Formerly a political columnist for the National Post and the Calgary Herald, he joined the show in 2010 following the departure of Tom Clark.-References:...

, a National Post
National Post
The National Post is a Canadian English-language national newspaper based in Don Mills, a district of Toronto. The paper is owned by Postmedia Network Inc. and is published Mondays through Saturdays...

columnist who wrote a biography, Belinda: the Political and Private Life of Belinda Stronach in September 2006, MacKay reacted "with volcanic fury" when he learned about her defection.

On October 19, 2006, during a debate on the Conservative Party's clean air plan, MP Mark Holland
Mark Holland
Mark Holland is a Canadian politician. In the 2004 federal election he was elected to the Canadian House of Commons as a candidate of the Liberal Party in the Ontario riding of Ajax-Pickering. Holland was subsequently re-elected in the 2006 and 2008 federal elections...

 said that a Liberal colleague, David McGuinty
David McGuinty
David Joseph McGuinty, MP is a Canadian lawyer politician from Ontario, Canada. He is the Member of Parliament for the riding of Ottawa South and sits in the Canadian House of Commons as the Liberal Party of Canada's Critic for Natural Resources...

 asked MacKay about the impact of pollution on humans and animals by asking, "What about your dog?". He was poking fun at MacKay for being photographed on his father's farm with his pet dog, following his break-up with Belinda Stronach. MacKay apparently then pointed to Belinda Stronach
Belinda Stronach
Belinda Caroline Stronach, PC is a Canadian businessperson, philanthropist and former politician. She was a Member of Parliament in the Canadian House of Commons from 2004 to 2008. Originally elected as a Conservative, she later crossed the floor to join the Liberals...

's vacant chair and replied "You already have her." Holland lodged a complaint with the Commons Speaker
Speaker of the Canadian House of Commons
The Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada is the presiding officer of the lower house of the Parliament of Canada and is elected at the beginning of each new parliament by fellow Members of Parliament...

 and demanded an apology from MacKay. Stronach has said that the comment was disrespectful to both herself and Canadian women, and has herself asked for an apology. MacKay has denied referring to Stronach as a "dog". The alleged comment was not heard by Speaker of the House Peter Milliken
Peter Milliken
Peter Andrew Stewart Milliken, UE is a Canadian lawyer and politician. He was a member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1988 until his retirement in 2011 and served as Speaker of the House for 10 years beginning in 2001. Milliken represented the Ontario riding of Kingston and the Islands as a...

 and it was not recorded in the official Hansard. Afterwards, Milliken and his staff said that they could not hear the remarks on the tape recording.

By September 2006, MacKay's romantic life was again in the papers, with The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

reporting on gossip about his alleged involvement with United States Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

. The New York Times described him as "Tall, athletic, young, blond", and having "a tan and the build of someone who spends his time on the rugby field, not holed up reading G-8 communiqués."

MacKay had been seen in public dating Jana Juginovic, director of programming at CTV News Channel, after having kept their relationship private for many months. They attended the annual Black & White Opera Soirée together at the National Arts Centre
National Arts Centre
The National Arts Centre is a centre for the performing arts located in Ottawa, Ontario, between Elgin Street and the Rideau Canal...

 in Ottawa on February 21, 2009. MacKay's engagement to Juginovic was announced on November 1, 2009. MacKay and Juginovic later called off the engagement in June 2010.

In his spare time, MacKay has served on many volunteer boards including New Leaf and Tearmann House. He has also been active in Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Pictou County Senior Rugby Club and the YMCA
YMCA
The Young Men's Christian Association is a worldwide organization of more than 45 million members from 125 national federations affiliated through the World Alliance of YMCAs...

. A sports enthusiast, MacKay is active in local adult rugby, baseball, football and hockey teams in Pictou County, Nova Scotia
Pictou County, Nova Scotia
Pictou County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. It was established in 1835, and was formerly a part of Halifax County from 1759 to 1835. It had a population of 46,513 people in 2006, which represents a decline of 6.3 percent from 1991. It is the sixth most populous county in Nova...

. He played for the Nova Scotia Keltics
Nova Scotia Keltics
The Nova Scotia Keltics are a rugby team in Halifax, Nova Scotia that compete in the Rugby Canada Super League.They play their home games alternatively at the Wanderers Grounds and Graves Oakley....

 rugby union club.

Quotes

  • "We're going to go after the Hells Angels
    Hells Angels
    The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is a worldwide one-percenter motorcycle gang and organized crime syndicate whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. In the United States and Canada, the Hells Angels are incorporated as the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation. Their primary motto...

    , not Ducks Unlimited
    Ducks Unlimited
    Ducks Unlimited is an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wetlands and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people. It currently has approximately 780,000 members, mostly in the United States and Canada.-Introduction:Ducks Unlimited was...

    ." (On the Conservative Party crime platform during the 2006 election campaign).

  • "I've been called treacherous, venal, stupid, lazy... and that's just from the Tories!"

  • (when asked the solution to critical comments from Alberta Premier Ralph Klein) "Duct tape
    Duct tape
    Duct tape, or duck tape, is cloth- or scrim-backed pressure sensitive tape often sealed with polyethylene. It is very similar to gaffer tape but differs in that gaffer tape was designed to be cleanly removed, while duct tape was not. It has a standard width of and is generally silver or black...

    ".

  • "This isn't the 15th century. You can't go around the world and just plant flags and say 'We're claiming this territory'" in response to Russia's flag planting on the North Pole
    North Pole
    The North Pole, also known as the Geographic North Pole or Terrestrial North Pole, is, subject to the caveats explained below, defined as the point in the northern hemisphere where the Earth's axis of rotation meets its surface...

    .

External links