Candice Bergen would rise through the ranks to become one of he most senior politicians in Canada. Bergen is a member of the Conservative Party of Canada. As a matter of fact, she was recently the leader of the party for a brief time.

While the Conservative Party leader, she was also the leader of the Official Opposition in the Canadian Parliament. Shortly before handing over the reigns of her dual leadership role, Bergen announced her plans to retire from Parliament. It seems like her retirement has gotten started a little earlier than what had been thought.

Has officially stepped down as a member of Parliament

Candice Bergen has resigned from her seat in Parliament, report the CBC and the National Post. She'd already made it clear she wouldn't be standing as a candidate for re-election in the next federal election, which would have to be held by sometime in 2025 at the latest by law.

But Bergen chose not to potentially wait that long. On February 1, 2023, she submitted a letter of resignation. She also took to social media with a statement. Bergen thanked the constituents in the riding she represented and Canada at-large. She also showed appreciation for her colleagues on a bipartisan basis. Thanking them "on both sides of the aisle, regardless of your political stripe."

Current Conservative Party and Opposition Leader Pierre Poilievre had effusive words to describe Bergen.

Thanking her for her leadership, devotion to the party and to the people of her riding and country. Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also had kind words for Bergen, thanking "her for her many years of service."

Bergen hasn't stated publicly why she chose to step aside early. But she did indicate that she has at least some sort of plan in mind for the future.

"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," she said. Bergen also addressed the apparent abruptness of her departure, saying "I'm not really one for long goodbyes."

Bergen was first elected to Parliament in 2008 and would be re-elected four times. She held her seat from the riding of Portage-Lisgar in the Winnipeg region of Manitoba.

Bergen became the Conservative Party leader on temporary basis in 2022 after Erin O'Toole resigned. Effectively also making her the new Opposition leader. She'd been O'Toole's deputy in both roles beforehand. Bergen held both offices until Poilievre took over later in the year. Other duties she'd held included serving in multiple Cabinet roles under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

A by-election would have to be held

With the new absence of Candice Bergen in Parliament, a successor will have to be elected for her riding.

A special election is to be held sometime in the relatively near future to sort it out. Candidates have quickly begun putting their names forward. A number of candidates were already planning to contest the seat in the next federal election. Now, things might have just been bumped up earlier for them.

The most high-profile name thus far hoping to get the Conservative nomination is probably Cameron Friesen. Friesen has been a member of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba as a Progressive Conservative. He's served as the province's finance minister, justice minister and health minister. Friesen announced his resignation from his provincial roles in order to pursue the Parliamentary seat in question.

Bergen's former campaign manager Brendan Leslie has also announced that he will run. Others could also join the race. Including former MP Lawrence Toet, who has shown an interest in doing so.