MacKay to sup­port Con­ser­va­tives ‘where I’m re­quested’

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA -

Re­grets? He’s had a few, but out­go­ing Jus­tice Min­is­ter Peter MacKay says he’s ready to leave the day-to-day pol­i­tick­ing be­hind and fo­cus on fam­ily.

MacKay on Thurs­day made what will prob­a­bly be his fi­nal visit to Cal­gary as a cab­i­net min­is­ter if Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper does the ex­pected and calls an elec­tion this week­end.

MacKay, who an­nounced in May he would not be run­ning again af­ter 18 years in pol­i­tics, pre­sented the Sheldon Kennedy Ad­vo­cacy Cen­tre $160,000 to de­velop ex­per­tise in spe­cial­ized child abuse foren­sic in­ter­view­ing.

“Pol­i­tics is about very per­sonal con­tri­bu­tions in many, many ways and my only re­gret is I couldn’t get more done. I think most peo­ple leav­ing public of­fice feel that way. They wish they could have done a lit­tle more,” he said.

“I’ll cer­tainly miss the feel­ing of be­ing in­volved in the im­por­tant events and is­sues of the day. It’s re­quired of a per­son to take part in the great is­sues and causes of the day on pain of be­ing judged as never to have truly lived.”

But he doesn’t in­tend to just sit on the side­lines ei­ther in the next cam­paign and said he will do what­ever he can to help get his party re-elected.

“Make no mis­take about it. I will be sup­port­ing ac­tively Con­ser­va­tives in the com­ing days, most prob­a­bly in my province of Nova Sco­tia, when and where I’m re­quested.”

The Con­ser­va­tives hold four seats in the province. The Lib­er­als have four and the NDP three.

MacKay who rep­re­sents the rid­ing of Cen­tral Nova and was first elected as an MP in 1997, was at the helm of the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tives when they merged with the Cana­dian Al­liance in 2003. He chose not to chal­lenge Stephen Harper for the lead­er­ship of the newly formed Con­ser­va­tive party.

MacKay was placed in cab­i­net im­me­di­ately af­ter the Con­ser­va­tives formed gov­ern­ment in 2006, be­gin­ning at for­eign af­fairs and then shuf­fled to de­fence.

He be­came jus­tice min­is­ter in 2013, in a sense com­ing full cir­cle as his ca­reer as a lawyer was what prompted him to en­ter pol­i­tics.

MacKay, who turns 50 this fall, is ex­pect­ing a daugh­ter, his sec­ond child, later this year with his wife Nazanin Af­shin-Jam, a hu­man-rights ac­tivist he mar­ried 3 1/2 years ago.

“It’s re­ally about spend­ing more time with my fam­ily,” he said. “Right now I’ve put my coun­try first and now I’m go­ing to put my fam­ily first.”

CP PHOTO

Peter MacKay said Thurs­day he will likely be leav­ing pol­i­tics if Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper does the ex­pected and calls an elec­tion this week­end.

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