Lorraine Michael: 'We're new, we're moving forward'
NDP Leader Lorraine Michael says the mandate she received from a weekend leadership review puts to rest questions about her leadership, but also sets up the struggling New Democrats for the next provincial election.
"I think what we had in the room [was] a room of people who are saying, 'we're new, we're moving forward,'" Michael said Monday, on the heels of a vote Saturday that showed 75 per cent support for keeping Michael at the helm of the party.
The review was called after a caucus revolt last fall that culminated with MHAs Christopher Mitchelmore and Dale Kirby leaving the caucus over Michael's leadership. Both later joined the Liberal caucus.
Michael admits that she is responsible for some of the tensions that caused things to boil over last October, when Mitchelmore and Kirby accused her of not being responsive to concerns within the party.
"I think all of us have made mistakes. All of us can look back and say, 'Oh, if we had done that, if we had done this,' " she said.
"One of the things I've learned is that we really want to have clear communication ... from the individual member, right through to the provincial executive caucus. I think that's an extremely important learning for all of us."
Michael and the NDP have been trailing in public opinion polls since the caucus upheaval.
Michael told CBC News that the party's focus now is on the future, not the past.
"We don't look back," she said, adding that she was particularly impressed by the enthusiasm that members showed the day after the vote, at an annual meeting on Sunday morning.
"I can't tell you how energetic the weekend was. I couldn't believe that a Sunday morning, on a long weekend, could have the energy in the room that we had yesterday."