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Peter MacKay says he regrets how ‘stinking albatross’ comment was viewed

Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay announced on Jan. 25, 2020 his candidacy for the leadership of the federal Conservative party.
Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay announced on Jan. 25, 2020 his candidacy for the leadership of the federal Conservative party. File / Global News

Conservative leadership candidate Peter MacKay says he regrets how some people interpreted his comment that current leader Andrew Scheer’s socially conservatives values were a “stinking albatross.”

MacKay made the remark after the last federal election in referring to how Scheer was dogged during the campaign by questions about same-sex marriage and abortion.

READ MORE: Jason Kenney endorses Erin O’Toole for leadership of Conservative party

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney referenced MacKay’s comment in an email this week where Kenney endorsed leadership candidate Erin O’Toole.

During a stop in Regina — Scheer’s hometown — MacKay acknowledged that his comment “might have been a little raw at the time.”

READ MORE: MacKay a front-runner for Tory leadership race, but half of voters undecided: poll

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He said if Conservatives want to return to government, they’ve got to be honest with themselves and be more forward-looking.

MacKay says he believes he represents the values of conservatives in Alberta and Saskatchewan and is offering a more moderate centrist message than Scheer.