11/15/2015 12:27 EST | Updated 11/15/2016 05:12 EST

Conservative Party Leadership Race: Beauce MP Maxime Bernier Hints At Bid

Maxime Bernier says he's "seriously considering" a run at the Conservative Party leadership left vacant by the departure of Stephen Harper. 

"People in Western Canada and here in Quebec are asking me to consider running for the leadership and I have officially decided to consider it, to consider it seriously," reported the Canadian Press. 

The 52-year-old has served as Conservative MP for the Beauce riding since 2006 and considers himself as an advocate of personal freedom and individual responsibility.

He is partial to the economic platform favoured by the onetime Reform Party, which includes shrinking government and decentralizing powers. 

His past titles include Minister of Industry, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism. He trained as a lawyer and is an avid long-distance runner. 

Bernier also earned a high profile for an early series of miscues, including one involving his relationship with Julie Couillard, a woman who had ties to biker gangs. 

Rona Ambrose became the interim leader on Nov. 5 and a leadership contest is expected to be held within the upcoming months. 

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