Former Conservative cabinet minister John Baird decides to stay out of leadership race

OTTAWA — Former Conservative cabinet minister John Baird says he’s not running to lead the federal Conservative party.

His announcement puts an end to days of speculation that he could enter the race, talk that began late last month after both current MP Pierre Poilievre and former interim party leader Rona Ambrose decided not to run.

Baird had been poised to run Poilievre’s campaign, but Poilievre dropped out last month, saying his heart wasn’t in it.

The absence of what some in the party feel is a “true blue” voice in the contest — a role some saw as belonging to either Poilievre or Ambrose — put pressure on Baird to join.

His decision not to leave his life in the private sector will likely be a relief for the only other two candidates officially registered to run so far: his former cabinet colleagues Peter MacKay and Erin O’Toole.

Both men are pegged as being closer to the progressive wing of the party, though O’Toole in particular has taken on a more right-wing tone since launching his campaign earlier this month.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police patrols increased in Red Deer

Break-in at Red Deer Legion

A cash crunch is coming for the City of Red Deer, says city manager

City council will have to consider loans or borrowing from reserves

Suspected thieves caught red-handed by Sylvan Lake RCMP

Incidents happened last Sunday and Monday in the Birchcliff and Lacombe County areas

Red Deerian asking Alberta pharmacists to unite and give back

A Red Deer phamacy owner says it’s time pharmacists open their wallets… Continue reading

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

Message from Remax Commercial: What to do when ‘sorry we’re temporarily closed’ is part of your business as landlord or tenant

Do you have questions about rent reductions or deferral of lease payments? Experts can help

Suspected thieves caught red-handed by Sylvan Lake RCMP

Incidents happened last Sunday and Monday in the Birchcliff and Lacombe County areas

JoAnne Hayden named new executive director of Aspire

JoAnne Hayden is no stranger to the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre… Continue reading

Three things you should do while self-isolating at home

Thank you to the Red Deer Advocate for its excellent coverage of… Continue reading

Surely, Red Deer residents should be able to enjoy their garden plots

Re: “Garden plots a victim of virus,” April 7. Has Karen Mann,… Continue reading

Virus fight destined to become whack-a-mole

It’s wrong to say that there is no exit strategy from the… Continue reading

Most Read