MacKay says he wants to stay on as defence minister

OTTAWA – Defence Minister Peter MacKay says rumours of his political demise are greatly exaggerated.

With a cabinet shuffle expected in the coming weeks, Ottawa has been alive with speculation that MacKay is about to be shuffled out of cabinet or is planning a jump to a lucrative private-sector job.

No so, MacKay tells The Canadian Press.

MacKay realizes he serves in cabinet at the pleasure of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, but adds he has had no discussions about a portfolio shift.

Not only does MacKay want to stay in politics, he’d like to keep his current job as defence minister, which he says is the best he’s ever had.

MacKay says the recent birth of his first child, a son, has changed his view of the world, but not his commitment to public service.