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Former Astronaut, Federal Liberal Candidate Mark Garneau visits the Bay

Sunday, January 27, 2013   by: Jamie LylePhoto provided

Marshall Park Public School had a little extra space on Friday morning, for the extra-terrestrial kind.

Former astronaut Mark Garneau came to the school to visit and talk to the children about the exploration of space and to help create an interest for the children in furthering their studies.

With fellow Canadian Chris Hatfield currently circling above the planet in space, the children were eager to learn about the planet, the solar system and travelling in space by mankind.

After all, it's not every day that one gets to meet an astronaut, even less common, a Canadian astronaut.

To be able to speak to a fellow human being who has left the planet and returned undoubtedly sparks the imagination, wonder and awe in the minds of children that, with a little luck, will inspire them to push further in their studies, like the astronauts do, and help discover the potential beyond what they thought they could do.

Principal Gisele Lynch of Marshall Park Public School welcomed Garneau, who brought a wealth of knowledge and leadership few earthlings have to bring, providing a role model and a notable experience as an engineer to this year's curriculum.

With current MP Garneau running in the race for the federal Liberal leadership, some of the older kids thought they might probe him regarding their concerns about a healthy future for the planet's environment.
“Some of the questions that the children asked were phenomenal,” Lynch says.

One of the questions asked was “how does being an astronaut make you a good leader?”

“That was answered extremely well,” says Lynch, explaining that one has to be calm while in space and be able to reason and rationalize, valuable skills that can translate into leadership.

Indeed, Garneau was out meeting and impressing upon people his strong leadership skills and his love of education, saying that he's always been delighted to accept invitations to come and talk to kids about space because he's had the privilege of flying and they're interested in hearing about it.

"I really enjoyed being here," he says.

Of course, being a proud Canadian, Garneau also left the people with the impression of his love for his nation and his excitement for his new political endeavours.

“I care about my country,” Garneau says, adding, “I‘m highly motivated to help rebuild the Liberal Party.”

Garneau did touch on political and economic issues, saying he thinks the Harper Government has not done a good job with running the country.
"When they took over, there was 12 billion dollars in surplus, they spent that money and we now have over a hundred billion dollar more debt in this country," Garneau explains.

"They have failed our country," he says.

Even though many consider his competition, Liberal candidate Justin Trudeau, to be the front runner in the race, Garneau that he's been holding his own as he goes along the campaign trail, citing on how his political outlook has gained him new supporters.

"I've very happy with the way things are going and we still have two and a half months and I intend to win," he says.
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