Election Coverage

Canada’s first astronaut runs for re-election

Adults and children across the country can proudly narrate the aerospace career of Astronaut Marc Garneau. But many might not know that before setting off for outer space, Garneau the Liberal Party candidate for the riding of Westmount-Ville Marie was a member of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Garneau began his military career at the Royal Military College in Kingston by receiving a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in 1970. Garneau served as a Navy combat systems engineer on HMCS Algonquin from 1974 to 1976. Garneau conducted the first ever Surface-to-Air Missile Firing trials while in HMSCS Algonquin.

He also conducted the Tribal Class Destroyer Shock Trials and taught for two years in the Maritime Flight School. He retired from the military in 1989 as a Naval Captain after a 15-year career.

Garneau simultaneously embarked on his career in space. In February 1984, Garneau began his astronaut training with the Canadian Astronaut Program. In Oct. 1984, Garneau made history by becoming the first Canadian Astronaut in space. He was a payload specialist aboard Shuttle Mission 41-G. Garneau has been on three space flights logging over 677 hours in space.

On Nov. 22, 2001, Garneau was appointed President of the Canadian Space Agency until 2005 when he decided to pursue a career in politics.

Garneau’s career in space was a prominent reason behind his choice to pursue politics.

“The desire to serve my country and to bring a greater emphasis to the importance of science is what inspired me to run for office,” said Garneau.

Garneau believes his party invests in the economy and middle class.

“Our focus is on creating jobs by investing heavily in affordable housing, public transit and green infrastructure,” said Garneau.

Garneau has been a Member of Parliament since 2008.

Father of four, Garneau has resided in Westmount since 2001.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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