Liberal MP Marc Garneau is keeping the door open to a potential run at his party's leadership, but says he would also be willing to support a younger candidate who could revive the Grits.

In a year-end interview, the MP for the Montreal riding of Westmount—Ville-Marie signalled interest in succeeding Michael Ignatieff as the next permanent Liberal leader.

Garneau acknowledged he is relatively new to politics, having only been elected to Parliament in 2008 after serving as president of the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 to 2006. But the former astronaut and naval captain said he's ready to step up his contribution to his country yet again.

Garneau said he hopes the Liberal leadership race draws a big field of candidates from inside and outside the party's caucus. He would be open to supporting a skilled young candidate who could renew the party, he said, or someone with a wealth of political experience.

Canada's first person in space said he will wait to see who opts to run for the Liberal leadership before making up his own mind.

The Grits hold their biennial convention in mid-January in Ottawa, where delegates will decide the exact date in spring 2013 for electing their the party's next permanent leader.

Bob Rae continues as interim leader until then.