Garneau to announce Liberal leadership bid next week

Former Canadian astronaut and current Liberal MP Marc Garneau addresses reporters on Thursday,...

Former Canadian astronaut and current Liberal MP Marc Garneau addresses reporters on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 at St. Patrick's Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough. (CLIFFORD SKARSTEDT/QMI AGENCY)

Mark Dunn, Senior National Reporter

, Last Updated: 7:26 PM ET

OTTAWA — Liberal MP Marc Garneau has a team assembled and guarantees of financial backing and will announce Wednesday he’s entering the race to lead the party.

Those close to the country’s first astronaut in outer space and Canadian hero say Garneau will toss his hat into the ring in Montreal, then return to Ottawa to meet journalists.

The Montreal politician, 63, was expected to jump into the race this week, but postponed until all the pieces were in place.

Garneau has been travelling through Western Canada finalizing his team, a source said Friday.

The West has been a source of problems for Liberals this week after the party’s natural resources critic — Ottawa MP David McGuinty — quit his post over anti-Alberta energy comments.

And leadership front-runner Justin Trudeau had to backpeddle Friday from an interview he gave two years ago that critics said disparaged Alberta.

Trudeau also said in the interview Canada is better off when prime ministers from Quebec are elected.

He apologized at a press conference in Vancouver on Friday.

Garneau, the Liberal House leader, is considered a serious contender in a contest that officially began almost two weeks ago and ends in April when a leader is chosen to replace Michael Ignatieff.

The former head of the Canadian Space Agency became an overnight hero in 1984 when the space shuttle Challenger lifted off with him aboard — the

first of three shuttle missions for the Quebec native.

Mark.Dunn@sunmedia.ca

Twitter @MarkDunnSUN

 


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