The federal Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, Maxime Bernier, ran an ultramarathon yesterday from one end to the other of his Beauce riding, to raise money for a local food bank.
The 50-year-old Conservative MP and experienced runner ran 106 kilometres — the equivalent of two-and-a-half full marathons.
He left the town of Saint-Ludger, the riding's southernmost point, at 5 a.m. and arrived in the town of St. Bernard, at the extreme north of the riding, a little over 13 hours later — just shy of his 12-hour target.
Bernier set a goal of completing the run and raising $50,000 when he turned 50 earlier this year.
In the end, he raised more than $153,000 for the Beauce Harvest Foundation, with the help of constituents who cheered him on. Many also ran alongside him for portions of his run.
In 2008, Bernier was forced to resign from his senior cabinet post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, after secret NATO briefing notes which he had mislaid turned up at a former girlfriend's apartment. The woman, Julie Couillard, had ties to a member of the Hells Angels.