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Former interim Conservative leader Candice Bergen steps down as MP

MP and former Conservative leader Candice Bergen has resigned her seat in the House of Commons.

Bergen, 58, has represented the Manitoba riding of Portage—Lisgar since 2008. She was interim leader of the Conservatives and leader of the opposition from February to September 2022. Before that she was Deputy Leader of the Conservatives.

In a video posted on Twitter On Wednesday, Bergen said she had filed a letter of resignation, “ending an incredible and very fulfilling 14 years.”

Bergen thanked her constituents, family, volunteers, staff and political colleagues “on both sides of the aisle, regardless of their political persuasion.”

Bergen announced in September last year that it would no longer stand for election. Pierre Poilievre replaced her as Conservative leader that month.

Bergen did not give a specific reason for her resignation and did not name any future plans.

“I choose to go now, not because I’m tired or out of strength. In fact, it’s quite the opposite,” she said in the video.

“I am hopeful and have new energy. Hope for our strong and united Conservative Party and Caucus under the courageous and principled leadership of my friend Pierre Poilievre.”

Bergen ended her farewell message on a hopeful note.

“With God’s grace and God’s help, I believe the best is yet to come. Thank you Portage – Lisagar and thank you Canada.”

The Toronto Star was the first to cover the story.

“On behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, I thank Candice for her leadership, her dedication to our conservative movement and her service to the people of Portage – Lisagar and all Canadians,” Poilievre said in a tweet Wednesday.

The news means there will be a by-election in Portage – Lisagar will replace Bergen.

Manitoba Treasury Secretary Cameron Friesen announced last week that he was stepping down as an MLA to seek the Conservative federal nomination in horseback riding.

The death of Rep. Jim Carr late last year prompted a by-election at another Manitoba equestrian center – Winnipeg South Centre. Calgary Heritage’s Alberta Riding and Oxford’s Ontario Riding are also up for by-election later this year.

“I thank her for her many years of service,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a media crowd over Bergen on Wednesday.

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