MONTREAL, Que. – Former astronaut Marc Garneau has joined the race to become leader of the federal Liberals.

The Montreal MP made the announcement at a news conference in his home riding Wednesday, blasting off his campaign with a scathing attack on the Prime Minister.

“The politics of hypocrisy, of deceit – this is a government that rewards the few at the expense of the many, and this is alien to Canadians,” he said.

He says he wants to change the way politics are being done under the Stephen Harper Conservatives.

Garneau joins a crowded field that includes fellow Montreal MP and leadership favourite Justin Trudeau, BC MP Joyce Murray and former MP Martha Hall Findlay.

While Trudeau focuses his campaign on the middle-class, Garneau says his focus will be on fixing the economy.

The 63-year-old Garneau was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008 and was re-elected in 2011.

The Quebec City native became the first Canadian in space when he flew aboard the Challenger shuttle in 1984.

Garneau served as president of the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 to 2005 before jumping into politics.

The federal Liberal members and supporters will pick their new leader at a convention scheduled for April 2013.