|Conservative MP Peter MacKay with wife Nazanin Afshin-Jam. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)
BRIDGEWATER, N.S. -- Defence Minister Peter MacKay and his new wife Nazanin Afshin-Jam are expecting a baby in the New Year.
MacKay announced the news to family and friends on Thursday night, and shared it with followers on his Facebook page Friday morning.
"We are expecting our first child this spring," he wrote in a post on Facebook. "I am excited by the prospects of raising a child with my loving wife, the support of family and friends in the greatest country on earth. We are simply overjoyed and wish to share our happiness with all of you.
"We greatly appreciate the kindness and support extended to us since our marriage."
By Friday afternoon, the proud father-to-be was already getting into goal setting for his son or daughter.
"I hope, boy or girl, that they give some considerations to join the cadets," MacKay said Friday, after he and Afshin-Jam attended the official opening of the Central Region Gliding School's hangar at Canadian Forces Detachment Mountain View in Prince Edward County, Ont. "I couldn't think of anything better, as they do a wonderful job here."
Afshin-Jam flies both powered aircraft and gliders and achieved the highest rank -- warrant officer first class -- while she was enrolled in the Royal Canadian Air Cadets.
Minutes after the happy news was announced, congratulations poured in from friends and political allies and rivals alike.
"It's wonderful news," Environment Minister Peter Kent said. "I invite them to join the adventure that so many of us have celebrated over the years. I think that's great news."
"Maxime and I wish Peter and Naz the very best for a happy and healthy family as they embark on this wonderful journey," Liberal MP Scott Brison said.
Brison, who once served with MacKay in the Progressive Conservatives, is a fellow Nova Scotian and frequent sparring partner of the defence minister's in the House of Commons.
"Congrats, Peter and Nazanin! This is wonderful news," first Reform MP Deb Grey wrote via Facebook. "We will be praying for you all as you juggle very busy lives! Bless you all."
"We are happy for them and certainly congratulate them on their news," staffers in the Prime Minister's Office wrote.
Stephen Harper is out of the country, chairing a round table discussion in Russia, and was not able to send a personal statement.
The couple married in Mexico on Jan. 4.