Marc Garneau joins Cathy Bennett on campaign trail

The Liberal candidate for the Virginia Waters byelection got some help on her campaign trail this weekend from an astronaut-turned-federal MP.
Federal Liberal MP and former astronaut Marc Garneau joined Cathy Bennett on the door-to-door campaign trail on Saturday, in her bid to become the MHA in Virginia Waters. (CBC)

The Liberal candidate for the Virginia Waters byelection got some help on her campaign trail this weekend from an astronaut-turned-federal MP.

Marc Garneau, MP for Westmount-Ville-Marie, accompanied candidate Cathy Bennett on door-to-door visits on Saturday.

Bennett is running in former premier Kathy Dunderdale's old district of Virginia Waters, following her resignation as MHA on Feb. 28.

The byelection will likely be a tight race, with Bennett running against Tory candidate Danny Breen and NDP candidate Sheilagh O'Leary — both former St. John's city councillors.

Garneau, who once vied for the federal Liberal leadership, said he's been privileged to see the province from an unconventional perspective.

"Well, I've seen all of Newfoundland just looking out the window in one shot, you are pretty high up when you are in the space shuttle, and I've been coming to Newfoundland since the '60s," Garneau said.
Cathy Bennett says having someone as well-known as Marc Garneau join her on the campaign trail has hopefully left a good impression on voters. (CBC)

"I used to be in the navy and so I know this island very well, and I'm really delighted to be back here today to help such an outstanding candidate."

Bennett said she hasn't spent a lot of time with astronauts, but added that she was lucky to have such a recognizable face join her on the campaign trial.

"I think [the people] are very excited to see the amount of support, and the calibre of volunteers that we've been able to put on the doorsteps," said Bennett.

However, Bennett said it's more than just celebrity that counts.

"I think having Marc here today is a great example of the idea that we have to be innovative, we have to look at ways of creating our economy that's going to sustain through the years versus the peaks and valleys that we've been known for," she said.

"It really is going to be about developing a knowledge-based economy, and I think some of Marc's experiences certainly speak to the possibility of that for all Newfoundland and Labrador children."

The byelection vote is set for April 9.

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