Could B.C. see a Green government in the next provincial election?
Welcome to the new age. A brave new world where just about anything can happen, including the Green Party actually winning a seat in the House of Commons. And of course, if the Greens are going to be winning seats, it’s going to be in beautiful British Columbia.
The next provincial election is set for 2021. That’s still a couple of years away, and perhaps not yet on the minds of most of British Columbia. But for Green Party supporters, the next couple of years could be pivotal for the future of not just the Greens, but for the Canadian political landscape in general.
Elizabeth May is out as the leader, but the Green party certainly isn’t stopping.
According to a recent report from the CBC, Jo-Ann Roberts is considering recruiting former Liberal Cabinet Minister and now independent MP, Jody Wilson-Raybould to the party’s top job.
Wilson-Raybould is the only Independent in the House of Commons after she was kicked out of Liberal Party by Justin Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin scandal. Then, attorney general, Wilson-Raybould said she was bullied and pressured by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his office to spare the SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec engineering firm with Liberal ties from prosecution.
The federal government has blocked almost all genuine investigation into the matter, with the RCMP even facing difficulties when it comes to having confidentiality waived on key witnesses.
Although hopeful, Jo-Ann Roberts has not reached out yet, as she believes former party leader Elizabeth May will take the lead on recruiting, given her close relationship with Wilson-Raybould, and the close working proximity on the hill.
May has previously attempted to recruit Wilson-Raybould, following the SNC-Lavalin affair, offering her the leadership even back then.
While the interim leader has stated her hopes to recruit Wilson-Raybould, she has also stated that her party is actively looking at other strong candidates who could join the leadership race.
After years of Elizabeth May saying that she would never run outside of Nova Scotia, the Green Party Leader packed her bags and moved to Vancouver Island. The Green Party apparatus, in those days composed of hippies and homeopaths, believed vehemently that the island would be the epicentre of where a “green wave” would be triggered; the faultline of where their leader would change Canada forever.
Pundits happily bought into these prophecies. And so, for the next eleven years, the Canadian public was subjected to the shaky, crackpot premonitions of commentators and May. This wave never materialized, and now in 2019, May has resigned as the leader of the Green Party with the hope (God forbid) of becoming the speaker. In retrospect, it is perfectly obvious why the climate Christ never delivered on these expectations.
This becomes clear through a brief glance at the Green’s results. In 2008, for example, the Green party failed to win a single seat, despite winning their largest share of the popular vote. Or take 2011, where the Green’s vote was sliced in half, although this time the compost crusader actually managed to win her seat. The only “breakthrough” that ever occurred was in 2019— for the first time ever, a Green MP was elected east of the Rockies, 13 years after May first became leader.
May, naturally, celebrated the results of the 2019 election in the style of Justin Trudeau: jubilant and utterly lacking in any circumspection. The other Green MPs were refreshingly contrite. Jennica Atwin, for instance, told The Post Millennial that she “was surprised more than anything else, I thought there were a few ridings that were guaranteed … it would have been nice to have a bigger caucus.”
Some point to the Green’s results as a symbol of May’s dogged determination. It is far more grounded, however, to dig up that rather overused cliche about madness: “trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” At the very least, it is evidence of the party’s stagnation.
May’s failure is especially poignant when considering the background of the 2019 election. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians had marched on the streets of our cities to demand better environmental policy, and Greta Thunberg received deafening and entirely unscrutinized coverage. Even in the provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, 30 percent of those asked stated that the environment was their top priority in the election.
In an age like this, it is remarkable that May’s Green Party failed to convert any significant number of these people into Green voters. May has naturally shrugged off responsibility for this, pointing the finger at our “unjust” electoral system. But surely, in one of the most environmentally conscious countries on the planet, the Green Party leader should have achieved more than three elected candidates.
The Green Party’s failure to capitalize on this lies squarely at the feet of their leader. May would have us believe that it is first-past-the-post that stunted the Green’s development, but it is difficult to blame the electoral system for the public’s total refusal to accept the Greens as a serious party.
Much of this derives from May’s willingness to accept candidates anywhere along the spectrum of dangerous to deranged. Take, for instance, her enthusiasm for allowing a holocaust denier to run twice for the party. Not one to relent, in 2019, May permitted a Quebecois separatist candidate to join the rank and file.
May’s outrageousness has also contributed to their reputation of wackiness. “Waging a war against wifi” and presenting 9/11 truther petitions to the House of Commons are hardly ways to endear yourself to the Canadian public.
Nevertheless, it is necessary to accept that May has contributed to the building of the environmentalist movement in Canada. Although, it has become overwhelmingly clear that the Greens would never cement themselves as a viable alternative so long as May was at the helm.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has announced that she will be stepping down as leader of the party she has led since 2006.
May announced on Monday that she wanted to step down when the party had momentum, saying, “I have to look at what’s the best interest for the party,” to the media.
Jo-Ann Roberts, the current Deputy Leader of the party will take over as interim leader.
While notable, the news was expected, as a week earlier, May announced that she was planning to step down “within the next four years,” though she had announced at the time that she would continue to serve as MP for Sannich-Gulf Islands.
Elizabeth May nearly doubled her vote since 2015, leading to one new Green MP being added to a caucus of two.
Alongside her resignation, May confirmed previous suspicions with a caveat by announcing that she would make a bid for the role of Speaker of the House after the next election.
While she has resigned as leader, May will stay on as an MP, will be leader of the party in the House, and continue to work with the Green Party.
The newest Green MP (Fredericton, New Brunswick) Jenica Atwin says she will not run for the leadership.
“I really need to focus on my constituency, there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in Fredericton, and I just don’t think it would be right for me to focus on leadership at the moment,” said Atwin at the press conference.
“I mean, audacity, bravery, the same qualities that I would use to describe Ms. May and the leadership style she’s had over the last ten years. It’s just about continuing to maybe change the language, to reach further beyond our current support base and to encourage others to join us in this fight. To be strong and fearless and much of that work has already been done,” Atwin continued.
According to May, the Greens will hold their leadership convention on October 2-4, 2020, bringing with it a new long-term leader.
“I want to encourage people who voted Green to get involved… speak up for what you want to see in the next Green Party leader of Canada.”
During the 2019 election, May criticized Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer for still holding his American citizen, believing she had “renounced” hers when becoming a Canadian. Immigration lawyers specializing in U.S. citizenship told The Post Millennial May is almost certainly still an American, too.
Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer thanked May for her public service as a politician on Twitter.
“Thank you @ElizabethMay for your many years of service to Canadians as Leader of the Green Party, and I wish you well as you continue to serve your constituents in Saanich-Gulf Islands.”
May has said controversial things in the past, including saying at a press gallery dinner, “Omar Khadr, you’ve got more class than the whole f—ing [CPC] cabinet.”
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has said she is “interested” in becoming the next speaker of the house, according to CBC. May has served as the Green Party leader since 2006.
May also said that she would’ve liked to pursue the job after the 2015 election, however, she failed to turn up for the vote because she was attending an environmental conference in Paris.
May spoke to the CBC about the speaker role, stating, “It would be wrong to say it hasn’t interested me for a very long time.” After the election, May has been vocal in her intention to step down as the Green Leader, and has previously stated her intention to step down in the next four years.
As well as this, May promised to step down as Green leader if Jody Wilson-Raybould, the former Liberal attorney general, chose to run as a Green. Speaking to The Post Millennial, the Green MP for Fredericton, Jennica Atwin, also mentioned her desire for Raybould to join the party.
During the campaign, May criticized Conservative Party of Canada Leader Andrew Scheer for still holding American citizenship, but immigration lawyers say her claim that she “renounced” her American citizenship when becoming Canadian is legally incorrect, meaning she likely is still an American as well.
Washington Post columnist J.J. McCullough has kept a record of some of the more outlandish things the Green leader has said in the past.