Vancouver Liberal MP Owen sets date to resign seat

Vancouver-Quadra Liberal MP Stephen Owen announced Thursday he will resign his seat as of July 27.

Vancouver-Quadra Liberal MP Stephen Owenannounced Thursday he will resign his seatas of July 27.

Owensaid hewill join the University of British Columbia on Aug. 15 as vice-president, handlingexternal and community relations.

Owen told CBC News he will use the role to nudge the conscience of government to deal with issues such as climate change and aboriginal relations.

"I think the great public universities of Canada, and UBC is certainly one, have a real opportunity to assist in that democratic engagement of the public to demand of politicians that they move in positive areas," he said.

The MP, who is currently the official Opposition critic for democratic reform, first announced back in February that he would not run in the next federal election.

He was elected to Parliament in November 2000, and re-elected in both June 2004 and January 2006. He served in the cabinets of both Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.

Before entering to federal politics, Owen,who trained as a lawyer,served as B.C.'s Ombudsman and held several other positions.

Joyce Murray has been nominated as Owen's successor in Quadra, which has traditionally been a Liberal stronghold.