Former Tory leader Peter MacKay is taking a pass on the Conservative Party leadership race, but isn't bowing out of politics. MacKay said he made his decision in "the last 24 hours" and called it the toughest of his political career. "While my heart said 'go,' my head said 'no,' " he said.
However, he added he will seek the nomination for his Nova Scotia riding in the next federal election.
MacKay said he's not yet prepared to throw his support behind a leadership candidate.
MacKay, Peter , 1966–, Canadian politician, b. New Glasgow, N.S. A lawyer who briefly worked (1992–93) in Germany, MacKay returned to his native Nova Scotia in 1993 and became a crown attorney. Elected to the federal parliament as a Progressive Conservative in 1997, he became Tory House leader, a position he held until 2002, when he resigned to run for the party leadership. In 2003, the youthful MacKay was chosen to succeed Joe Clark as leader of the Progressive Conservative party, winning in part because he agreed not to seek a merger with the Canadian Alliance. A few months later, however, he led his party into a merger with the Alliance to form the Conservative party of Canada, and subsequently became the new party's deputy leader.