NDP incumbent aims for new style of politics

I’m not afraid of co-operation.

Denise Savoie distinguished herself from her Liberal and Conservative candidates on this point before Monday’s federal election. During the all-candidates debate, she won enthusiastic cheers with this retort to accusations of coalition forming.

It’s taken on a whole new meaning since the election.

The Conservatives, with a new majority government, are now the relevant party with which to co-operate.

“We will see their true colours,” she said of the Conservatives election night. “We will have to fight to hold them to account.”

At the same time, she pledged a new style of politics. “We’re going to lead them in an intelligent, thoughtful discussion on the challenges that we face.”

Savoie’s popularity rose from 45 to 51 per cent in the Victoria riding. In five years as Victoria’s MP, Savoie, 67, has introduced various pieces of legislation – private member’s bills are seldom adopted, but can often have bits and pieces of them tucked into government policy. They include initiatives to ban oil tanker traffic on the B.C. coast, and redirect Canada Mortgage and Housing revenues to affordable housing.

The former school teacher, a mother of three and grandmother to six, was flanked by her family on election night during her speech.

The win leaves the family torn, “because we won’t see as much of her,” said daughter Dominique McGrady, of Comox. At the same time, she added, “We’re so proud of her.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

-with files from Vivian Moreau