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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay, seen as a leading candidate to run for leader of the ruling Conservative Party one day, on Tuesday dismissed rumors that he was about to quit politics.
Two newspapers said last week that MacKay had held talks with a prominent law firm about a possible job. This fueled speculation he would leave the daily grind of federal politics and start preparing a campaign to replace Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
"Rumors of my political death are greatly exaggerated ... I have every intention of continuing in my job, if the Prime Minister so wishes," a smiling MacKay told the House of Commons.
The Conservative Party was created in 2003 through a merger of the center-right Progressive Conservatives and the right-wing Canadian Alliance. MacKay was previously leader of the Progressive Conservatives.