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Local Green party candidate shocked at May resignation

Green Party Leader Elizabeth May addresses candidates and supporters during a rally in Vancouver, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. May announced she would step down as party leader, effective Nov. 4, 2019. May will remain as an elected MP and parliamentary leader of the Green party caucus at the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

After 13 years on the job, Elizabeth May announced her resignation at the leader of the federal Green Party.

Effective immediately, deputy Jo-Ann Roberts will take over as interim leader.

At a news conference on Nov. 4, May chose to resign now to fulfil a promise to her daughter, Kate.

“Last time, I promised her in 2016 that 2019 campaign would be it. I’m very excited to know that I’ll have time with my husband, my daughter, and my extended family, and that I keep my promises.”

However, she shall remain in Ottawa as an elected MP and as parliamentary leader of the party’s caucus.

May added she would run for the job of Speaker down the road.

Local reaction

Brian Deheer ran for the party in fall federal election in the Fort McMurray-Cold Lake riding.

He said the news of May’s resignation came as a shock.

“I wasn’t expecting today or to be so soon after the election. On the other hand, there were a number of indications that we knew to expect it.”

Deheer said May hinted she would not run as the Green leader in the next federal election four years from now.

He said he spoke with May on several occasions over the years and heard her speak at party conventions, debates, and workshops.

“As a person, she is very knowledgeable, professional, and very approachable. I’m never tired to listen to and learn from Elizabeth May. She has an incredible wealth of knowledge, remembers details very well, and has a great sense of humour. She’s very good at seeing the value of different points and trying to bring things together. A very good leader with all those attributes.”

Most importantly, Deheer said May didn’t compromise on her principles, ethics, and integrity.

“That’s something that I feel she has done very well at as the Green Party leader. She has not compromised principles of the Green Party; she has stayed true to the Green Party’s platform.”

Despite May no longer leading the Greens, Deheer said he looks forward to seeing what’s in store for the Greens.

“[We] exceeded what any Green party around in the world in a first-past-the-post system has achieved. Elizabeth May helped the party to grow from one MP to three, we received 1.1-million votes, and there were seven ridings where the Green party candidate finished second. We achieved lots of great results.”

Deheer ran for the Green Party in both federal and provincial elections since 2014.

This article contains excerpts from the Canadian Press