As Canada’s first astronaut, an officer in the Canadian Navy, president of the Canadian Space Agency, and a Member of Parliament, Dr. Marc Garneau’s exceptional life of leadership and accomplishment is an inspiration to all Canadians.
Born in Quebec City, Marc began his career of public service at age 16, when he attended Royal Military College in Saint-Jean, Quebec.
At age 20, Marc’s love of adventure and passion for teamwork led him to join a 13-man crew that sailed the Atlantic from Rhode Island to Cork, Ireland in an 18-metre yawl. He did this in 20 days. The following summer he duplicated the feat on the return trip.
After earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics from the Royal Military College in Kingston, Marc completed a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering at London, England’s Imperial College of Science and Technology. He went on to study at the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto.
As a Naval Officer, Marc served as a Combat Systems Engineer in HMCS Algonquin, and rose to the rank of Captain before retiring from the Navy in 1989.
But it was in 1983 that Marc’s exceptional leadership qualities, physical fitness and academic expertise singled him out for greatness. Moved by his passion for adventure and service, he applied and was selected as one of the original six Canadian astronauts from more than 4,000 applicants.
On October 5, 1984, Marc made history when he became the first Canadian to fly in space as part of a NASA Shuttle Mission.
He went on to fly in two more shuttle missions logging more than 670 hours in space and earning a spot in the hearts of Canadians forever.
For his accomplishments, he was also made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
Marc went on to serve as President of the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 to 2005, where he oversaw a staff of 700 and managed an annual budget of $300 million. As President, he developed the Canadian Space Strategy, which defines the mandate and long term goals of the Canadian Space Program.
Among other accomplishments, Dr. Garneau served as Chancellor of Carleton University in Ottawa; was a member of Ontario’s Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution; and is a member of Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame.
He has also served on the Board of Directors of Calgary-based UTS Energy Corporation and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.
Elected to the House of Commons in 2008 as the Member of Parliament for Westmount–Ville-Marie, Marc has served as critic for Industry, Science and Technology, critic for Natural Resources, and House Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
As a parliamentarian, Marc led the fight for consumer-friendly access to the Internet, fought for more transparent military procurement strategies, and advocated for the creation of a Canadian Child and Youth Commissioner. He continues to speak out against the unfair treatment of Canada’s veterans and the use of omnibus bills to pass legislation without proper oversight.
Marc’s vision is a Canada where all Canadians have the opportunity to realize their full potential. His priority will be the development of a balanced, creative, knowledge-based economy that creates real opportunities for urban and rural Canadians from coast to coast to coast.
Marc’s passion for a fair, compassionate, progressive Canada has led him to run for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Marc lives in Montreal with his wife Pamela Soame and is the proud father of Adrien, George, Yves and Simone.