Marc Garneau quitting bid to lead federal Liberals
Marc Garneau is ending his bid to lead the federal Liberal party because he's come to the conclusion he can't catch front-runner Justin Trudeau, a source close to the campaign says.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak publicly about the campaign, said Garneau would make the formal announcement at a news conference this morning.
The source says Garneau a former astronaut and the first Canadian in space has decided Trudeau simply has too much momentum to be stopped before the voting begins early next month.
His decision leaves seven candidates in the running.
Garneau, an MP since 2008, kicked off his campaign last November, stressing the economy as his key issue.
The 64-year-old retired navy captain and former head of the Canadian Space Agency said the Liberals had to address economic issues if they hoped to remain relevant.
``At the core of my vision is a stronger economy a vibrant, dynamic one where we are on the leading edge of discovery,'' he said in a policy statement.
Garneau shook up the staid leadership race in recent weeks with some pointed attacks on Trudeau. He accused Trudeau of failing to offer solid policy proposals. He also warned that the party had gone for untested high-flyers in the past with disastrous results.
But his barbs had little measurable impact on Trudeau's campaign.
Voting for the Liberal leadership will be conducted online and by phone early next month, with the winner to be announced on April 14.
Reaction to Marc Garneau's decision to quit the federal Liberal leadership race was muted on the streets of his Westmount riding Wednesday morning.
Most people CJAD spoke to supported the decision, saying his candidacy had always been a longshot.
"All is lost at this point, let's be honest. He's done his best, you've got to give him credit for it, but that's it," said one man.
Nevertheless, most expressed great admiration for Garneau as an individual.
"He's a great guy but I think nowadays I think you need charisma to succeed at elections," according to Westmount Square office worker Francois Lefebvre.