Speaker Profiles

The Honourable Peter MacKay

The Honourable Peter MacKay

Minister of National Defence

The Government of Canada

Peter MacKay was born in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. After graduating with an arts degree from Acadia University in 1987, he studied law at Dalhousie University and was called to the Nova Scotia Bar in June 1991. With strong family ties to the local area, he returned to New Glasgow to open a private law practice specializing in criminal and family law. In 1993, he accepted an appointment as Crown Attorney for the Central Region of Nova Scotia. He prosecuted cases at all levels, including youth and provincial courts as well as the Supreme Court of Canada.

Mr. MacKay was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1997. He was re-elected in his northern Nova Scotia constituency in 2000, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2011. On May 18th, 2011, Mr. MacKay was reappointed as Minister of National Defence. Mr. MacKay also serves as Regional Minister for Nova Scotia.

In his first five years in the House of Commons, he served as House Leader for the Progressive Conservative caucus. On May 31, 2003, Mr. MacKay was elected Leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. In March 2004, following the unification of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance Party, he was named Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Prior to his current responsibilities, Mr. MacKay served as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway.

He has served on several volunteer boards, including New Leaf and Tearmann House as well as being active in Big Brothers-Big Sisters, the Pictou County Senior Rugby Club and the YMCA.

A sports enthusiast, Mr. MacKay enjoys running, rugby, baseball, football and hockey. He is married to human rights activist Nazanin Afshin -Jam MacKay

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