Longtime MP for Wellington-Halton Hills Michael Chong announced Friday that he will not launch a bid for the Conservative Party leadership.
In a series of tweets, Chong said “now is not the time” and Canada’s foreign policy will remain his focus, as he is the shadow minister for foreign affairs.
“In the upcoming leadership race, I’ll engage party members and candidates to help elect a Conservative leader ready for the serious challenges of our times. Thanks to everyone who reached out & encouraged me to run. I’m humbled by your support,” Chong said.
First elected as MP in 2004, Chong previously ran for party leadership in 2017, coming in fifth place out of over a dozen candidates. Party members chose Andrew Scheer as leader, replacing Stephen Harper.
In the Harper government, Chong served as Minister of Sport and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. He was also president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada in 2006.
So far, the declared candidates in the Conservative leadership race are high-profile MP Pierre Poilievre, rookie Ontario MP Leslyn Lewis, independent Ontario MPP Roman Baber and former Quebec premier Jean Charest.
Brampton Mayor and former Ontario PC Party leader Patrick Brown has said he will soon make a decision about whether to enter the race. But he is scheduled to make “an important announcement for Canadians” on Sunday morning.
Party members will choose their next leader by Sept. 10.