Victoria MP Densie Savoie (NDP)

Victoria MP Densie Savoie (NDP)

Denise Savoie stepping down due to health reasons

Victoria MP Denise Savoie (NDP) announced today she will step down on Aug. 31 due to unspecified health reasons.

Victoria MP Denise Savoie (NDP) announced today she will step down on Aug. 31 due to unspecified health reasons.

She made the announcement the day after the first anniversary of the death of Jack Layton, which weighed on her decision.

“This spring, my doctor gave me a health warning,” Savoie said at her Victoria office today with federal NDP leader Thomas Mulcair. “After I considered these facts over the summer, I realized that I can’t continue to represent my constituents to the standards that they have come to expect.”

The former Victoria city counsellor and CRD director was first elected MP in 2006 (and was the first woman elected for the Victoria riding) and named NDP deputy speaker in 2011. We won re-election in her staunchly left-of-centre riding without much trouble in 2008 and 2011.

Savoie ran on a platform of supporting light rapid transit in the region, affordable housing and security for seniors. She lobbied to ban tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast and to secure federal funding for the Johhson Street bridge replacement project and regional sewage treatment.

During her first term, she served as critic for post-secondary education, skills training and literacy in Jack Layton’s NDP caucus, and as co-chair of the party’s environment caucus.

“I have always strived to set a civil and constructive tone in debate,” she said regarding her role as deputy speaker. “My work to maintain mutual respect among MPs in a hyper-partisan environment has not always been successful.”

A 68-year-old grandmother of six and mother of three, Savoie served in municipal politics from 1999 until 2005. During her days on Victoria council, she helped to establish a regional housing trust, championed the cleanup of the harbour and received two national awards for her work on the environment. She also spearheaded development of the Galloping Goose Trail and the Selkirk Trestle.

“I got into politics to help make a better world for my children and grandchildren. Now, it’s time for me to devote myself full-time to my family and to seeing my grandchildren grow up,” Savoie said.

Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin called Savoie a friend and a colleague, and said her skills advocating for Victoria in Ottawa will be sorely missed. The mayor credits her with helping bring millions in federal dollars to the city for the bridge and sewage treatment. She also helped the city navigate jurisdictional issues of the proposed and controversial marina near the Inner Harbour and live-aboard boaters on the Gorge Waterway.

“She has shown a unique ability to really stay in touch with citizens, to work on behalf of local issues, and push much larger issues at the national stage. It’s hard to do,” Fortin said on Thursday. “For a lot of local issues she was a great voice for us in Ottawa dealing with the federal bureaucracy.”

One of her last acts as MP was to submit a letter to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel.

Following a similar tone as her provincial NDP counterparts, she opposes the project and says the risks to B.C.’s economy and environment far outweigh the benefits. She also noted that questions linger around Enbridge’s ability to adequately respond to an oil spill and asserted the company has a poor safety record.

“Look at the way the Enbridge Project is evolving. At the beginning, Harper government called those opposed it radicals and extremists,” Savoie said today. “But when it became clear the majority of British Columbians would be radicals and extremists, Harper had to back peddle and change his language.”

The Victoria federal riding will hold a byelection in upcoming months.

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read