Peter MacKay will announce today that he is leaving Canadian politics and will not seek re-election later this year.
Now most Americans might not know who Peter MacKay is, but I can assure you that this is a big deal. MacKay is a key figure in conservative politics in Canada. His father Elmer was a prominent cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney's government in the 1980's and the younger MacKay would rise further becoming leader of the Progressive Conservative Party in 2003. Later that year the PCs would merge with Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance to become the Conservative Party of Canada with Harper becoming leader. In early 2006, the Tories came to power under Harper, but MacKay has played a big role in the Tory government as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and now Justice. His departure is a bigger blow than that of John Baird.