Longtime Liberal MP Marc Garneau is resigning his seat in the House

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Longtime politician and former astronaut Marc Garneau has announced he is resigning his seat in the House of Commons.

The Quebec Liberal MP revealed his resignation Wednesday morning to his Quebec caucus colleagues.

“Out of respect I wish to speak to my caucus first,” he said, when asked by reporters Wednesday morning to comment on his resignation.

On Parliament Hill, Garneau’s colleagues are calling him an inspiration and a politician with great integrity.

Health Minister Jean Yves Duclos called the news a “shock,” while Industry Minister Francois Philippe Champagne described Garneau as a man of integrity who always followed his convictions and was always available.

“He’s an inspiring figure for those of us who came in 2015. He is a man who inspires respect and he is a man who inspires achievement,” Champagne said.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, who described Garneau as a friend, called him “a really good man,” while reflecting on his life of service.

“When thinking about Marc Garneau, we think about a man who has always served Canadians. Not only is he a great Canadian, but he was one of the first to inspire us by going to space, but also taking risks.”

Garneau was selected as an astronaut in 1983, after serving in the navy. In 1984, he became the first Canadian astronaut to fly in space on Shuttle Mission 41-G.

In 2008, he was elected a member of Parliament, later taking on positions in cabinet including as transport minister in 2015 and then minister of foreign affairs. He was shuffled out that role, and out of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet following the 2021 federal election.

The former Liberal leadership contender currently represents Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Westmount, Que.

Garneau will make a speech in Parliament later Wednesday where it’s expected he’ll make his intentions to vacate his seat official.

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