Elizabeth May’s resignation on Monday after more than a decade as the federal leader of the Green Party is “bittersweet,” according to Green Party candidate Tara Howse.
Listening to @MayElizabeth step down makes me sad but it's an exciting time for new leadership and growth! She has served @CanadianGreens admirably and will always be a political hero to me. Thanks for your incredible passion and dedication #cdnpoli
— Tara Howse, South Okanagan-West Kootenay Candidate (@taralynhowse) November 4, 2019
May’s announcement on Nov. 3 didn’t come as a surprise, Howse told Western News, as May said she did not expect to be the Green party’s leader in the next campaign. But, Howse said she didn’t think it would come so soon. She said May did an incredible job as the leader, even inspiring her to enter into politics.
“It’s important to know and acknowledge when it’s time to step away and let a new generation and new people, new thoughts and new ideas come forward,” Howse said of May’s decision.
May has held the role since 2006, bringing her party through four elections. She became the first Green MP elected in 2011. This year, the party grew to three seats with Jenica Atwin in Fredericton and Paul Manly in Nanaimo-Ladysmith getting elected on Oct. 21.
“I joined the Green Party because I felt the leader represented someone I could look up to and truly identify with because of her strong moral convictions and proving that there is transparency in the democratic process,” Howse continued.
“I think she sets the bar for how MPs should be conducting themselves and the hard work and representing their constituencies.”
Howse said she wants the new leader to represent the diversity of Canada.
“I think it is really important that we have leaders and politicians representing the diversity of Canada,” she said.
“Whether it is somebody of Indigenous heritage or somebody who identifies with the LGBTQ community or another woman or a combination of all. We are a complex community and we need more than just one face at the political leadership level.”
May, who will continue to be the designated leader in the House of Commons, appointed Jo-Ann Roberts as the interim leader. Green Party members will chose their new leader at a convention in Charlottetown next October.