Peter MacKay to announce Conservative leadership bid

Peter MacKay will announce today that he plans to run for the Conservative party leadership, the Star has learned.

OTTAWA–Peter MacKay will announce today that he plans to run for the Conservative party leadership, the Star has learned.

A Conservative source, who spoke to the Star on the condition they not be named, said MacKay is expected to announce his intentions later Wednesday.

There has been wide speculation that the former Progressive Conservative leader and Harper-era cabinet minister would be a contender to replace Andrew Scheer after the party’s disappointing 2019 election results.

While MacKay’s campaign is not expected to formally launch until next week, two sources said he will clearly state later today that he intends to run.

That announcement would follow a report in La Presse on Wednesday morning that former Conservative cabinet minister Rona Ambrose will not seek the party leadership.

Ambrose was widely praised for her performance as the party’s interim leader after Stephen Harper stepped down following the 2015 election. La Presse, citing three unnamed sources, reported Ambrose will not enter the race.

Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu is the only declared candidate in the race, but MPs Pierre Poilievre and Erin O’Toole have been putting together their campaigns for weeks. The Star reported last week that former cabinet minister John Baird and Conservative strategist Jenni Byrne will take senior positions in Poilievre’s campaign.

With MacKay is in and Ambrose is reportedly out, it remains unclear whether former Quebec premier and Progressive Conservative leader Jean Charest will enter the leadership race.

Charest, who has not responded to multiple requests for comment, has been testing the waters for weeks regarding a potential return to federal politics.

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