STELLARTON, N.S. -- Former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay is to announce his candidacy today for the leadership of the federal Conservative party.

MacKay, who served in a number of portfolios under prime minister Stephen Harper, has said he will make the announcement at the Museum of Industry in Stellarton, N.S.

In a video posted Friday on social media, MacKay says he is ready to take on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next federal election.

MacKay was the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party when it merged with the Canadian Alliance in 2003, creating the current Conservative party.

He stepped away from politics ahead of the 2015 election, the year the Harper Tories lost power and Harper himself resigned as leader.

MacKay's formal announcement comes as Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer wraps up the last day of a caucus meeting with MPs in Ottawa.

MacKay spent part of Friday tweeting out the names of members of Scheer's team who are now backing him for the leadership.

Current MP Erin O'Toole is also expected to launch his bid in the coming days. Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, announced Thursday that he's not running for the leadership, citing the burden it would place on his family.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2020.