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Candice Bergen announces resignation: ‘Not really one for long goodbyes’

Click to play video: 'Candice Bergen announces resignation: ‘Not really one for long goodbyes’'
Candice Bergen announces resignation: ‘Not really one for long goodbyes’
WATCH: Candice Bergen, former interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, announced Wednesday that she would resigning as the member of Parliament for Manitoba’s Portage-Lisgar riding. – Feb 1, 2023

Candice Bergen, former interim leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, announced Wednesday that she would resigning as the member of Parliament for Manitoba’s Portage-Lisgar riding.

Bergen, 58, announced her decision in a video posted on her official Twitter page. She said she submitted her resignation on Wednesday. The Toronto Star was first to report the news on Wednesday.

“I’m choosing to leave now not because I’m tired or I’ve run out of steam. In fact, it’s the exact opposite,” Bergen said.

“I feel hopeful and re-energized. … I’m optimistic and excited for the future.”

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Bergen became interim leader of the party in February 2022 after then-leader Erin O’Toole was ousted by his own caucus. She announced in September 2022 she would not be seeking reelection as an MP.

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Bergen, who was born in Manitoba, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008. She was then re-elected in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2021 to serve the Manitoba riding of Portage-Lisgar.

Following her role as interim leader, Pierre Poilievre won the leadership race and became federal Conservative leader, and leader of the Official Opposition.

Bergen said in her video on Wednesday that she “won’t be going back into the House of Commons, I’m not really one for long goodbyes.”

She also thanked her family and colleagues in Ottawa, “regardless of your political stripe.”

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Prospective successors in the Portage-Lisgar riding including Manitoba finance minister Cameron Friesen are already lining up to seek the party’s nomination to replace Bergen.

Many federal MPs credit Bergen with helping unite the party’s caucus, which found itself divided under O’Toole’s leadership and after the Conservatives lost the 2021 election to the Liberals.

— With files from The Canadian Press.

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