Victoria MP Savoie weighs in on NDP leader Mulcair’s victory

Strong environmental platform appeals to Victoria politician

Although Thomas Mulcair was Denise Savoie’s third choice for leader of the NDP, she was right beside him when the fourth ballot results confirmed his victory.

“I decided that on the fourth ballot to go and support him openly and publicly,” said member of parliament for Victoria. “He was pleased that a number of MPs walked over to his campaign.”

On Saturday, 33,881 party members, representing 57 per cent, voted for Thomas Mulcair on the fourth and final ballot. Runner-up Brian Topp received 25,329 votes.

Before any votes were cast, both Savoie and fellow local MP Randall Garrison (Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca) backed Peggy Nash for leader.

Savoie, who went with Nathan Cullen when Nash bowed out, said afterward that the party had picked a “really good leader.”

“I think he’s a guy who is principled, energetic, and I think he’s fluidly bilingual (which) I don’t think we’ve seen from a leader in Canada for a long time … To me, he seems to have a very strong environmental platform, and for me, that’s always been key.”

While Mulcair, who represents the Quebec riding of Outremont, has weak ties to Western Canada, he has a sister who lives on Vancouver Island.

“I have hopes that he will understand the issues (that face the West),” Savoie said. “The leader isn’t meant to understand all the issues. That’s why we elect people from across Canada. That’s certainly something that I’m going to do in my meetings with him.”

rholmen@vicnews.com