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Silva walks away with no regrets

Gay former Liberal MP plans to complete doctorate

Mario Silva Credit: Xtra files
Liberal Mario Silva may have lost his seat in the election, but he says he has no regrets about the campaign, or his time in federal politics.
 
“We actually did have a fabulous campaign,” says Silva. “We had lots of volunteers, and it was a very good campaign overall. But at the end of the day, there was a general wave in my riding, particularly for the NDP, and that’s what happened.”
 
Despite the fact that his NDP opponent used the same “attendance” attack that became commonplace during the latter part of the campaign, Silva dismisses it as a “cheap shot” that may not have even made a difference.
 
“When these waves happen, it happens,” he says.
 
Silva has been in federal politics for nearly seven years and was previously a Toronto city councillor for nine-and-a-half years.
 
“Being a member of Parliament is the greatest honour that was given to me by the people of Davenport,” he says. “It was certainly a great privilege serving here and up on the Hill.
 
“This is the most fantastic opportunity that can be given in the world, and I was just so thrilled that I got to be here for three terms,” he says. “Three short terms, but still three terms, and I’m very grateful to the people of Davenport for everything they’ve done over the years and their support.”
 
During that time, Silva developed an affinity for international human rights, serving as co-chair of the human rights subcommittee of the standing affairs committee in the last Parliament.
 
“I was very interested and still want to be involved with issues of human rights and people who are being persecuted,” he says. “I did, specifically, a lot of work with those who are fleeing Iran for being persecuted for being gay and lesbian, and also with Uganda as well. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done on the international human rights perspective, and my work in that field was certainly very important to me, and I would very much like to continue it.”
 
Silva hopes that the human rights subcommittee will continue to work collaboratively in the next Parliament, and that it can continue with the work.
 
Looking forward, Silva plans to finish his PhD in international law.
 
“I still want to continue to be active in the field of human rights and engagement in a lot of the issues that I’ve been involved with over the years,” he says.
 
Silva has not, however, responded to questions about whether he plans to contest the nomination and run again in 2015.