By Andrew Macdonald

Coming this weekend in The Macdonald Notebook, I speak to Tory Royalty politico Elmer MacKay, on a story I heard in recent years about an attempt in 1971 for him to run as a Liberal.

The plan to recruit Mulroney cabinet minister Elmer into the Liberal fold was hatched by then Grit premier Gerry Regan, and Liberal titan, Allan J. MacEachen.

Political Giants: The men of Central Nova, Elmer MacKay, left, Brian Mulroney, and Peter MacKay

Elmer talks about that plan.

Is it true?, I asked Elmer. Stay tuned for his answer this weekend.

Also, in the Saturday edition of The Notebook, I speak to Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee, about his political future.

The Notebook will answer the leading question on PEI: Will Clifford Lee now run for the Island Tories, given a leadership opening that now exists?

After reading my political speculation article published on Tuesday, on him possibly running for PEI Tory leader, and thus the premier’s job, Lee quibbles: “You know what, I read your story this morning. And I am thinking I should hire you as my Director of Public Relations”, he says with a chuckle.

But what about a run? “Actually, no I am not going to go after the Tory leadership”, he tells me. Then he said the decision is being made at this time, adding the caveat: ‘Never say never’ to a future run in politics, whether it be back to city council, or a provincial or federal run in the future. Lee is only 56 years of age.

More on his reasons not to run, this weekend in The Notebook.

But, my newly engaged and very talented PEI freelance writer Andy Walker tells me that Lee’s name has been bandied about as a possible Tory premier, dating back to the 1980s.

This weekend, The Notebook gets deep into the Nova Scotia PC leadership contest.

I am told by Tory operators that the front runner is “too close to call”.

The perceived race is between Tim Houston, and Cecil Clarke.

But I hear that race is a toss up, while third place status is also too close to call, as Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, and John Lohr battle it out for third place lead.

The party sold 11,000 membership cards, with the cut of date recently passed.

Tim Houston sold a commanding 1,000 cards in his Pictou East riding, alone.

In comparison, the PC party sold about 130 new cards in Chester-St. Margaret’s Bay, where leadership contender Julie Chaisson lives.

But did Houston waste his time selling 1,000 cards in his hometown, given that each riding in the province has equal votes at the Tory leadership convention in October?

We will answer that question this weekend.

And, who is trying to do down Houston?

The Notebook is in receipt of an anonymous note sent to our PO Box address, detailing Houston’s business dealings during his time in Bermuda.

The letter is not signed, and it was also sent to the PC party brass running the leadership convention, including PC MLA Chris d’ Entremont.

Anonymous letters are not unusual over my 29-year news career.

I am not a big fan of anonymous notes.

That’s because I tend to deal with sources I can speak with and also judge their past veracity on previous tips.

In a hotly contested race, such as the current PC leadership, it is clear my anonymous letter is likely from a camp running against Houston.

Also, this weekend, we chat to dedicated Northshore NS cottage dweller, Richie Mann, on the question: Is Internet at the cottage cheating?

And, The Notebook mail bag is full.

No article in The Notebook has generated more letters than our reports on a cougar sighting in rural Nova Scotia.

While I recently heard there were a lot of cougar sightings at Chester Race Week – that’s a different species altogether! – it seems the real cougar sightings are very common in Nova Scotia.

Also this weekend, I carry a fun story on why John ‘Nova’ Chisholm is smiling down on us earthlings.

Chisholm died too young at 68 in 2014 – and was a major road builder operator in the Atlantic.

I will carry my occasional stock column Stock Watch this weekend.

I will feature a hot stock that I have in my self directed stock portfolio which is doing me well – and which you might want to consider, as well.

This particular stock is a darling of one of Canada’s leading pension funds.

Stay tuned!

While self directing a portfolio is not for everyone, it is fraught with disasters, too – as my DHX stock shows me.

More on this, in our Saturday edition.

There’s a battle of words in charming Parrsboro between NDP MLA Lenore Zann, and an Ottawa lobbyist.

More on that Saturday.

This week I spoke to soon to retire Bill Casey: Of course, I asked him this question: Who has been a better Prime Minister, Brian Mulroney or Justin Trudeau?

Stay tuned for Bill’s answer.

I also caught up to Casey political foe, Scott Armstrong, who details his chances now that ultra popular Bill is not going to be on the ballot in 2019.

Stay tuned for that conversation!

Lots of reading material in The Notebook this weekend.

I also have a few regular news scoops to report on – but with other media reading me, these will remain top secret until we publish on Saturday.