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Federal election campaign takes shape in Victoria

Election campaigning will likely officially begin Saturday,  but some local candidates aren’t waiting for Prime Minister Stephen Harper to drop the writ.

Victoria MP Denise Savoie flew home from Ottawa Friday, after voting alongside her NDP caucus in support of the Liberal’s motion to defeat the government.

She started canvassing the next day, but officially launches her campaign Monday.

“I’m running now because I believe our community needs an NDP who challenges the government to act instead of just making excuses as to the needs that have been expressed over and over,” said Savoie, Victoria’s Member of Parliament since 2006.

While the NDP has been steadily gaining ground in the riding since 2004 (Savoie received 45 per cent of the vote in 2008), so too has the Conservative party.

Conservative candidate Patrick Hunt started door knocking in March, and addressed a political science class at Camosun College on Friday.

“I want to see Victoria become dynamic again,” he said, listing jobs for young people, and office and commercial space filled among his priorities.

Also in the running for the job is popular Oak Bay Mayor Chis Causton who is venturing into federal politics for the first time as the Liberal candidate.

In the Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding, encompassing Esquimalt to Port Renfrew, long-running Liberal MP Keith Martin’s resignation promises to be a game changer.

Lawyer Troy Desouza lost to Martin by only a few votes in 2008. This time around (his third campaign) Desouza’s promises of a McKenzie interchange may get him elected.

Shortly after Harper presented his failed budget last week, Desouza wasted no time reminding voters of his platform.

On Wednesday morning, he and about a dozen supporters waved at commuters from the West Shore at the notorious section of the Colwood Crawl.

Desouza will have a serious contender in Randall Garrison, however.

The Esquimalt councillor ran for the NDP in the  2004 and 2006 federal elections. Both times, Garrison beat out the Conservative candidate, placing second behind Martin. Langford councillor Lillian Szpak replacies Martin in the riding.

rholmen@vicnews.com

 

Federal election candidates

• Victoria

Denise Savoie, NDP**

Christopher Causton, Liberal

Patrick Hunt, Conservative

Jared Giesbrecht, Green

 

• Esquimalt Juan de Fuca

Troy DeSouza, Conservative

Lillian Szpak, Liberal

Shaunna Salsman, Green

Randall Garrison, NDP


• Saanich-Gulf Islands

Gary Lunn, Conservative**

Renee Hetherington, Liberal

Edith Loring-Kuhanga, NDP

Elizabeth May, Green

**-denotes incumbent

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