Beaches residents unaware Peter MacKay is their neighbour

Beaches residents seem unaware the leading contender for leader of Canada’s Conservative Party and potentially the next prime minister, Peter MacKay, lives among them.

“Peter lives in my area? I’m shocked beyond words,” said local resident Vicky Howlett, interviewed on a Beaches street. “I will always support someone who is running for office from my area.”

Another resident who was unaware of MacKay residing in his area said he would not be voting for him in any case.

“To be honest, I’m not into politics, and I don’t care too much about where Peter is from,” said Bobby, who wouldn’t give his last name. “All I care about is the well-being of my family.”

Finally, after several more people were questioned, a resident who had heard MacKay lives here was found.

“It’s crazy,” Emma Matteyan joked. But it wouldn’t affect her vote. “In fairness, it’s a shame though, because I’m a huge supporter of Justin Trudeau,” she said.

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It is unknown where MacKay would run for MP if he’s chosen Conservative leader.

The Conservative’s Beaches-East York Conservative riding association did not return calls about their relationship with MacKay. Nor did the riding association of Central Nova in MacKay’s native Nova Scotia return calls.

Beaches-East York seems an unlikely riding for a Conservative leader to run in. Party candidates have traditionally placed a distant third behind Liberals and New Democrats in federal elections in the riding. It is currently represented by Liberal Nathaniel Erskine-Smith who received more than 57 per cent of the local vote in 2019.

MacKay was the last leader of the Progressive Conservative Party and later held several ministerial positions, including Minister of Defence, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the merged Conservative Party. He represented Nova Scotia ridings as MP from 1995 to 2015.

MacKay moved his family to Toronto to carry out his duties as a partner in the Bay Street law firm Baker McKenzie, it was reported in early 2017. Wikipedia lists his current residence as the Beaches area of Toronto.

The Conservative Party chooses its next leader on June 27. MacKay is currently favoured to win the position as no other major contenders have announced their candidacy yet.